Summary: A Drifter living in the past, a Hylian who has lost her way, and an Assassin with hard choices to make...these three would-be heroes will take on the Fallen Angel. Will they succeed or will a dark figure from the past come and tear them apart? The Cherry Blossoms are falling. Sibling rivalries die hard. (Read Shadow and Light 1, 2 and 3 first! [WARNING: Graphic Violence, Suggestive Themes, Disturbing Themes and Strong Language])
Categories: Fan Fiction Characters: Link (OoT & MM)
Series: Shadow and Light
Chapters: 59 Completed: Yes
Word count: 89457 Read: 345817
Published: Mar 22, 2005 Updated: Jul 16, 2005
1. Red the Drifter by Red Sparrow
2. Who to Trust by Red Sparrow
3. Angels Crying (Part One) by Red Sparrow
4. Angels Crying (Part Two) by Red Sparrow
5. We Don't Do Taverns by Red Sparrow
6. Best Friends Forever by Red Sparrow
7. Campfire by Red Sparrow
8. Trigger Happy by Red Sparrow
9. Veil of Shadow by Red Sparrow
10. Cliffhanger Underground by Red Sparrow
11. Who Knew? by Red Sparrow
12. Angels Crying (Part Three) by Red Sparrow
13. Angels Crying (Finale) by Red Sparrow
14. Princess Marin by Red Sparrow
15. A Parting by Red Sparrow
16. Sacrifice by Red Sparrow
17. Scarlet Ambitions by Red Sparrow
18. Change of ID by Red Sparrow
19. Kohilint Island by Red Sparrow
20. Delve Into Memories by Red Sparrow
21. Revisited by Red Sparrow
22. Spread Thy Wings by Red Sparrow
23. Making a Stand by Red Sparrow
24. From the Heart by Red Sparrow
25. Spotlight by Red Sparrow
26. Raven in Moonlight (Part One) by Red Sparrow
27. Raven in Moonlight (Part Two) by Red Sparrow
28. Fortune Doesn't Smile by Red Sparrow
29. First Step to a Tragedy by Red Sparrow
30. That's what Friends are for by Red Sparrow
31. Sunlight by Red Sparrow
32. Rain by Red Sparrow
33. Reminisciary by Red Sparrow
34. This Angel Never Cries by Red Sparrow
35. A Matter of Conscience by Red Sparrow
36. Erika's Tale: Butterfly Hairclip (Part One) by Red Sparrow
37. Erika's Tale: School Day Blues (Part Two) by Red Sparrow
38. Erika's Tale: Midsummer Night (Part Three) by Red Sparrow
39. Erika's Tale: March (Part Four) by Red Sparrow
40. Erika's Tale: Reborn (Finale) by Red Sparrow
41. The Way of the Sheikah by Red Sparrow
42. Sibling Showdown by Red Sparrow
43. Into the Shadows by Red Sparrow
44. In Darkness by Red Sparrow
45. Passive Click by Red Sparrow
46. Robin and Sparrow by Red Sparrow
47. Second Step to a Tragedy by Red Sparrow
48. Aftermath in Moonlight by Red Sparrow
49. Third Step to a Tragedy by Red Sparrow
50. The Defining Moment by Red Sparrow
51. Dysfunctional Families by Red Sparrow
52. Reiter by Red Sparrow
53. Reminisce by Red Sparrow
54. Raising Hell by Red Sparrow
55. Whilst the Organ Plays by Red Sparrow
56. A Mirror out of Time by Red Sparrow
57. Shattered Glass by Red Sparrow
58. Remember That Dream I Had by Red Sparrow
59. Runaway by Red Sparrow
Red the Drifter by Red Sparrow
[READ THE PAST STORY(IES) BEFORE READING THIS ONE!!!]
Shadow and Light 4
Sunlight in the Rain
“Red the Drifter”
The tavern was busy during this time of the year. It was early fall, but the temperature had fallen.
There were various types of people in this tavern, bandits, drifters, merchants, jesters, and wandering entertainers. Sitting in the corner was a girl. She was sixteen years old and had black hair that fell down to her shoulders and not an inch longer. She was waiting for someone.
Hidden under her cloak, were various weapons.
The door opened, but no one bothered to look. A young man with red hair and red eyes pulled back his hood to reveal his charming young face. He was seventeen years of age.
There was an aging ‘Wanted’ poster with his picture on it. The price was originally 45,000 rupees, now it was 160,000.
He sat beside an older middle-aged woman at the counter. The woman glanced at him and spoke, “Hello, there.”
The young man looked at her and shot her a friendly smile, “Hi.” He turned back to the bartender and ordered his drink. The bartender set down a glass of iced water. The man was obviously not a fan of alcohol.
The woman looked at him, “Isn’t it a bit cold to be drinking iced water?”
The man shrugged and smiled at her, “Well, I’d never have water any other way.”
“You’d better finish it quick,” the woman said, “Looks like some troubles going to start.”
The man looked over his shoulder. Almost everyone in the tavern had their weapons drawn at him. He turned to the bartender; he also had a sword drawn. The red haired man shook his head, “Figures.”
The bartender spoke, “So, Red the Drifter...looks like you’ve stopped at the wrong tavern today.”
“Looks like it.” Red replied. Red smiled and thought about his little title, “’Red the Drifter’, huh? Nice. Who thought that one up?”
He sat up and brushed himself off; he stretched a bit, stretching out his shoulders and legs. Red spoke, “Looks like I need some warming up, any volunteers?”
The entire tavern charged him. The woman who had been sitting beside him picks up a glass and takes a sip, seeming to be in her own little world.
The first attacker wielded a knife; he sent a stab Red’s way. Red didn’t turn around and caught the attacker’s wrist and yanks him forward. Red steps back and strikes the unfortunate attacker with back kick.
The attacker falls back into the crowd. Red turns and slaps away an arrow and ducks under another.
The sixteen year old girl watched all of this intently, never moving from her seat.
After a short time’s pass, everyone who had tried to take Red on was on the floor. No one was killed.
Red was standing in the middle of it all; he didn’t have a scratch on him. In front of him was a man about the same age as Red, he held a tomahawk ax.
The man twirls it and charges. Red sighs sidesteps the downward swing. Not giving the fellow enough time to recover, Red slams his fist into the attacker’s stomach, causing him to bend forward completely, holding his stomach. Red kicks his foot up and catches the man in the face, causing him to lean back and fall flat on his back.
Red brushes his hands against his pants and pulls out a rupee from his pocket; he tosses it to the stunned bartender before leaving. This place was too much trouble for him.
The girl stands up as soon as Red exits. As she walked towards the door, the woman who had sat next to Red earlier, spoke, “So, what do you think of him, Akari?”
The sixteen year old named Akari replied sharply, “Its all amateur moves. He’s all flash. I can take him.”
The woman nodded, walking over to her, she said quietly, “Remember your assignment, its reconnaissance. First gather information, and then kill him.”
“...Simple enough.” Akari replied. The woman nodded, “Good luck. You’re the best of the Sheikah, remember that. Don’t fail us.” The woman walked past her and out the door.
Who to Trust by Red Sparrow
“Who to Trust”
Ivan, now a commander-in-chief, was standing just outside of a rebuilt Hyrule castle. It wasn’t exactly rebuilt. It was more of a redecoration and expansion. The castle was black.
He was speaking with an informant, “So, any news on the girl?”
The informant shook his head, “I’m sorry. She’s successfully eluded us for the moment.”
Ivan looked at him, angry, “Ever since you lost sight of his daughter, we’ve been running late. If you don’t find her now, we’ll never be able to succeed!”
The informant bowed apologetically, “I’m very, very sorry, sir.”
Ivan sighed; he looked past his informant and at the ruined marketplace and town. He spoke softly, “Look around you, Vincent; this is what has become of Hyrule. This is what has become of our precious land. It’s full of death, sorrow, and darkness. When was the last time you’ve seen a child smile? When was the last time you’ve heard laughter in these parts? That’s what we’re fighting for, Vincent. I’ve won Link’s trust and run the risk of being caught every single day for that moment...The moment when we’ll finally be able to put this fallen hero to rest.”
He looked back at Vincent, “I want you to recover Link’s daughter and keep her captive...this time, don’t let her escape. It’s been seven years since she escaped our clutches. See to it that she never reaches Hyrule until I say so. We can’t delay any further. Do you understand?”
Vincent stood at attention, he saluted, “Yes, sir!”
Ivan nodded. Vincent turned an about-face and left.
Red walked down another road. His real name was Ken, but he used the name ‘Red’ as an alias, besides, he liked the name.
Red walked on until he heard a voice, “Hey! Help! I’m stuck!”
Red looked to the side of the road. He decided to check it out like any normal person. He looked past the foliage and other debris to find a sixteen year old girl trapped inside a pretty deep hole. Red didn’t realize it, but it was the same girl from the tavern.
Red knelt down by the hole and asked, “So...what are you doing in a hole?”
The girl looked up, surprised to find someone who actually cared enough to try and help, but she was frustrated at the same time, “Well...I fell. What do you think?” she replied angrily.
Red sighed, and shook his head, “If you want me to help, then you should at least sound grateful.”
The girl shot back, “I’ll be ‘grateful’ once I’m out of this hole!”
Red sighed again and reached into the hole. The girl reached her hand up and grabbed on. Red grunted and pulled the girl out of the hole. Shortly afterwards, they were by the side of the road.
The girl spoke, “Thanks.”
Red, happy to finally get the response he deserves, says, “No problem.”
The girl introduced herself, “The names Akari.”
Red nodded, “My names Red.” Akari thought for a moment, “’Red’? That’s a weird name...”
Red looked offended, but then again, it was a name thought up by a drunken tavern owner. “So where are you headed?” he asked.
She pointed down the road and said, “Hyrule. I’ve got to do a few errands there. It’s pretty far, and this is my first time through. I’m not even sure if I’m going the right way...” Red smiled, “Really? I’m headed there as well, so we both must be right.”
She smiled and looked just as surprised as he was, “Oh? What are you going for?” Red thought for a moment and replied, “...uhm, errands.”
He had an idea, “Say, how about you and I travel together? Are you alone?”
Akari nodded in agreement, “Yeah, I’ve traveled alone; it wouldn’t hurt to have someone to talk to once in awhile, you know, with all the killers and thieves running around, it would prove a bit safer to go in numbers.”
Red nodded, “So, we’re travel buddies!” Akari blinked, “Uh...let’s use another word...how about ‘Travel Companions’?”
Red shrugged, “Whatever you say!”
Later, the group of Red and Akari reached a fork in the road. Red stared and pointed left, he walked in that direction. Akari glanced from the road heading right to Red and back again at the road. She hurried towards him, “Uhm...are you sure we’re headed in the right direction?” Red looked at her, “Well...honestly...no.”
Akari blinked, surprised at this, “Wait...don’t you have a map?”
Red shook his head sadly, “I sorta lost it years ago. Why? Do you have map?”
Akari sighed, “...No.”
Red shrugged, “Then let’s go!”
Akari tried again to stop him, “Are...are you sure this is the right direction?” she secretly knew the direction to Hyrule and wanted to head there. Red turned, “I thought this was your first time going to Hyrule...”
Akari thought for a moment and said, “Well, I don’t think it’s smart to travel without a map.”
Red replied quickly, “No one seems to have any maps...I checked the town...I’ve been doing this for awhile now, and I haven’t gotten completely lost yet...”
Akari didn’t want to raise suspicion, she replied, defeated, “Alright, I guess you’re right...let’s get going then.” This was going to be problem for her, she knew it. But she was the best of the Sheikah and she knew she’ll manage, theres a high reward for this guy’s head, and she’ll be the one to receive it.
Angels Crying (Part One) by Red Sparrow
“Angels Crying (Part One)”
“When you are in need of power, you shall come see me...”
Those words were trapped in Link’s head as he stared at the tombstone in front of him in disbelief. It had been three weeks since Zelda was murdered. Link held an object in his hands, it was the silver ring. The sky was starting to clear. It had been rainy the past few weeks already, and it looked like the constant depressing drizzle would finally stop.
But still...it didn’t matter. Not to Link anyway. He barely ate. He barely talked. Malon was still in her coma, the sages had tried their best to revive her...all they could do now is wait.
Their warrants for their arrests had already been posted. It was a good thing no one knew to look in the Kokiri Forest.
The grave in front of Link was empty. It was just a symbological grave. The true grave was inside the castle’s private graveyard reserved for the royal family. The graveyard in Kakariko was no longer used due to constant looting.
But that didn’t matter either. Nothing did, really.
Link slowly fell on his knees, but he barely registered that fact. He continued to stare at the grave hoping that maybe...somehow, this was all a horrible dream...a dream that he couldn’t wake up from. He wanted so much for Zelda to wake him from this dream. He wanted so much to wake up as a kid and undue all of this, one step at a time.
Link shivered slightly, he leaned his head forward, resting it on top of the tombstone and cried. He heart ached horribly. He leaned his head back and looked at the sky, closing his eyes, he cried out his sorrow as loudly as he could.
The room was dark; the scent of potions and rare invaluable ingredients stunk up the air. The faint flickering candles caused shadows to slowly dance along the walls.
The elderly woman sat in front of the counter, there was a pipe in her hands. She looked up as the door opened. A bell rung lightly, indicating a customer had entered.
She looked up and smiled, exposing decaying teeth, “Ah, so I was right after all.”
Link stood at the doorway, he didn’t respond and walked towards her, his footsteps seeming to echo around the room. The woman took a quick puff from her pipe and spoke, “I know what you want...power. A way to right those stupid mistakes, correct?”
Link stopped in front of the counter, staring at her intently, “If you knew I was coming, then why don’t you just cut the chatter and give me what I need?”
She nodded, her boney hands rose and she pointed at the book incased in a glass box held up by a tripod, “That book has what you need...go on, take a look.”
Link walked over to the box slowly. He opened the case and hesitantly retrieved the book. He read the title softly to himself, “The Book of Modura.”
He looked at the woman accusingly, “You stole this!”
She nodded, not losing her cool for even a moment, “Yes, I won’t deny that. But then again, I’d think you’d call it even. If I recall correctly, you, too had something precious stolen from you.”
It made sense to Link. He didn’t question it anymore.
He glanced at the woman, “Am I supposed to look for something specific in here?”
She stayed quiet. Link glanced down at the book and began fingering through the pages. Suddenly something caught his eye. He turned a few pages back an stopped on a single page. “I see you’ve found something of interest?”
He did. Written on the pages were ingredients and detailed directions on how to achieve the most controversial spell known to all beings...immortality.
“Very daring,” the woman stated, as if reading Link’s mind, “a lot of people have attempted to undertake such a task, but none have succeeded.”
Link shut the book, he looked at the woman suspiciously, “What do you plan on gaining?”
The woman looked genuinely confused, “What do you mean?”
Link didn’t believe she’d part with something this valuable so quickly, “I want to know what’s in it for you. Will I have to do something to repay you?”
“You’re not a very trusting fellow, Link.” She laughed, “The only thing I want you to do is succeed. I ask for nothing more.”
He still didn’t believe her, and it showed. The woman frowned, “Do not fret over these things. I assure you, seeing you achieve such a feat is all the payment I could ever receive.”
She pointed to the door, “Now go. You’re first destination is the city of Meldion. There you shall be tested. There resides a vampire; he has terrorized that city for much too long, if you get my drift. You shall do that town a favor and slay him. Then you shall receive your first ingredient: The Essence of Vampire.”
She reached under the counter and revealed a silver stake. It was extendable at the push of the button placed on the side, “This stake has been cleansed using the water found at the Tower of the Gods. This should be enough to take down anything relating to the undead.”
Link picked up the stake and examined it as the woman smiled and said, “Now, go. Time is always against you. I expect results soon.”
He looked at her for a moment before nodding and walking through the exit, shutting the door behind him.
“I see our boys taken the bait.” A voice sounded from behind the woman, the woman turned, “It was much too easy, Kotake.”
Kotake stepped out from behind the curtains. She was the exact twin of the first woman. Kotake replied shrewdly, “Let’s see if the boy can survive long enough to be of some use, Koume.”
Koume giggled, thinking of the prospect of their plan, “Use the hero’s blood to free our son...ingenious! If he were to gain immortality, we would be able to bring Ganondorf back as many times as needed! We’d seal the boy in the Sacred Realm and keep him there until he is needed, oh, Kotake, you have outdone yourself!”
The two sisters known as Twinrova cackled in delight.
Saria wandered outside of the forest once again. She stood just outside the entrance. She was worried about Link. She wanted to know where he had gone. It wasn’t safe for any of them to venture beyond the forest since the entire kingdom was after their heads.
She heard the whinnies of a horse followed by the sounds of a speedy gallop. She turned to see Link riding past her. Link shot Saria a quick glance as he road past. Time seemed to slow as their eyes met. Link pulled something from his pocket and tossed it over to her as he rode off.
Saria extended her hand and caught the small object. It was the ring. This is Zelda’s ring, why would he give it to me? She thought.
Malon was inside Link’s small treehouse. Her eyes finally opened for the first time in weeks. Her throat was parched. She felt weak and could barely move. She turned her head to the side to find a bouquet of flowers resting on the table beside the bed. She whispered softly, “...Link.”
Days later, Link arrived in Meldion.
He had seen the depression of this city in its full light. The people around him were gray and seemed like walking corpses, neither dead nor alive.
He wandered through the dark halls of the castle where the vampire supposedly dwelled. Link had on his leather green tunic. This was a gift from Zelda. He was told that it was sturdier and more reliable than his regular tunic.
Strapped to his back was a sword he had recently bought, it was the highest quality this city had. Even so, the sword was unreliable; it was still inferior compared to Hylian swords.
He had a quiver of arrows strapped to the left side of his hip. He had the silver stake strapped to his right hip. The stake was held inside its own sheath.
He didn’t have a shield. He found it was too bulky for his tastes now. Instead he had the bow strapped to his back along with the sword in the shield’s place.
The hallways were dank and sinister. Link welcomed the full moon flowing through the windowsills; it helped him see a lot better.
Despite warnings, Link refused to bring a lit torch with him; he knew that to a vampire, it’d be a beacon to home in to. He wasn’t stupid.
He stepped lightly, climbing the twisting stairs to the fourth and highest floor of the castle.
As he reached the end of the stairs, he noticed light flowing from the double doors in front of him. He hesitated before pushing open the doors. Light flowed freely and blinded Link momentarily. Link blinked and tried to adjust his vision. Soon, his eyes adjusted and he could see the room in its full glory.
The room was lined with gold. A chandelier was hung above the room. The hundreds of candles on the chandelier were lit to the fullest. There were mirrors lining key parts of the room to ensure maximum brightness. Coffins lined the sides of the room. Link knew what each held inside. He hoped he wasn’t going to find out whether he was right or not.
He stepped gingerly into the next and last room. Unlike the last room, it was dark; the only light that entered was the light from the predecessing room. Even so, it still wasn’t enough.
Link saw that the room was empty and desolate, much unlike the past room. He took a step forward into the room. It was then that the door behind him closed violently. The sound made him jump in surprise, forcing him to instinctively draw his sword. He cursed; the door was his only exit.
He looked at the lone coffin on the other side of the room. The coffin was unlike anything else in the room. It was decorated richly. Link knew that this was his target.
He reached the coffin and stopped. He examined it for a moment, but knowing enough to keep his distance. Slowly, he built up his nerve and, while gripping his sword tightly, extended his right hand towards the coffin.
He braced himself. His hand neared the coffin; he expected something to happen and made sure to be ready.
Finally, he touched to coffin. Nothing happened. He was curious now. The coffin seemed to be empty.
“...Where...?” he muttered. He began to pull his hand back. Just as he let down his guard, a sinister hand lashed out of the coffin and grabbed his hand.
Link’s eyes widened, his mind tried to register the fact that there was an undead vampire grabbing his hand, but he was too petrified by fear and shock to move. He thought to himself frantically as the coffin’s lid began to disintegrate before his eyes, revealing the origin of the evil hand. MOVE!!! MOVE!!!!
The vampire opened his eyes. His pupils were blood red. He smiled, revealing deadly fangs.
The vampire hissed and spoke in a thick accent, rolling his tongue on the R’s “Trespassing, I see.”
The vampire tilted his head, examining his prey, “Or perhaps...a sacrifice?” he grinned.
Link still couldn’t move. Sweat rolled down his face. The hand holding his sword twitched as he willed it with all his strength to move and fend off this deity of death.
The vampire leaned in nearing Link’s neck. Link’s mind screamed, MOVE!!!!!!!!!
Just before the vampire makes contact, Link swings his sword up and slices off the vampire’s hand, freeing him from his grip.
Link stumbled back as the hand still held on. Link looked at it as the hand began to disintegrate like the coffin lid from before. It turned to sand and flew over to the vampire. The sand formed a hand around the vampire’s stump. The vampire smiled and tested out his reformed hand, he spoke, “You...you are very different. No one has ever escaped my paralyzing gaze.”
Link seemed to have earned the vampire’s respect. The vampire bowed, “My name is Eloquence. I know why you’re here.”
Link, shaken up, managed to bring his sword up in a defense position.
Eloquence continued, “You have a strong will. But your goals are the same as the many others that have come before you. You wish to gain immortality, correct?”
Link stood silent. Eloquence smirked; he sensed something different about this boy in front of him, “You have something different. A determination I think...” he took a step towards Link. Link backed up into the door, his only exit, sealed. “...Your eyes...they show a determination to accomplish this task no matter what. It is unlike the eyes of your predecessors. This should prove interesting.”
“My eyes...?” Link whispered. Eloquence smiled, “Yes. They are different.”
Eloquence extended his palm out at Link; a breeze blew in from nowhere, “Allow me to show you!!!”
The door behind Link opened; it was like being sucked into a vacuum of air. The room behind forcefully pulled Link in, Link landed hard on his back. He was in the same room lined with gold and coffins.
Link instantly bolted to his feet as the wind followed him and blew out the candles on the chandelier.
Mere seconds afterwards, the coffins around him started to move. Scratches were heard originating from within. Eloquence’s voice boomed around him, “Time to meet your predecessors!!! Will you succeed where they have failed?! I think not!! Let us see if you truly are worthy of immortality!!!”
All the coffins around him blew open at the same time, throwing smoke and dust everywhere. Hisses and undead groans met his ears. Link looked up at the chandelier, then at the mirrors. He had an idea, he had to act fast or else he would join these bloodsucking freaks in the realm of the dead.
Link dropped his sword and drew his bow and an arrow. Suddenly, an undead warrior jumped at him through the smoke, bearing his fangs. Link jumped out of the way as the being disappeared back into the dust. Link landed on his back once more and aimed his arrow upwards. Slowly, his arrow began to fill with light. Link was summoning the power of the Light of Justice: The Legendary Light Arrow.
Link aimed at the mirror hanging directly above him.
As the dust settled, Link saw all the occupants of the coffins hanging above him on the ceiling. Link kept his aim on the mirror and fired, letting his arrow fly. At the same time, the minion vampires jumped. The arrow struck the mirror and threw light every which way. The mirrors around the room reflected the light everywhere.
The light pierced all the vampires as they were just a few inches from Link. They screamed and shattered into dust.
Slowly, the light faded, and Link heard some sarcastic clapping. Link stood up slowly, covered in vampire dust.
“Very impressive...” Eloquence’s voice came from behind Link. Link turned to face his adversary. Link snatched up his sword.
Eloquence spoke, “Well, you’ve passed my first test...as promised; you will get your chance to achieve your dark ambition. But be warned...I won’t hold back!”
Link spoke for the first time since their encounter, “I don’t want it any other way...”
Instead of charging Link like he expected, the vampire extended his palm at Link once again. An orb of light formed in front of his hand. Eloquence spoke, excited joy sounding in his voice, “This spell...is my own personal favorite. When used by someone like me, it becomes the most ironic spell on the face of this planet. This attack uses the energy of the heavens themselves, using it against anyone I please. The heavens have no choice but to cooperate as I use this spell to take down their heroes. This spell...I have named Bereavement of the Heavens.”
Link smirked, “When I kill you, I’ll have to learn it.”
Eloquence responded quickly, “That is, IF you kill me. Enough talk! Let’s fight!”
Angels Crying (Part Two) by Red Sparrow
“Angels Crying (Part Two)”
“Dammit...” muttered Link, this fight was going on for much too long. Link was steadily losing his strength. He knew he couldn’t use the stake until he was sure he had Eloquence where he wanted him.
“Is the fight leaving you already?” Eloquence taunted, “Shall I end it now?”
No choice, Link thought, I have to end it now!
Link drew the silver stake; the vampire knew exactly what it was and lunged forward, fangs bearing. Link tried to muster in a block with his sword, but the force of the wily vampire knocks him down. The stake was knocked out of Link’s grasp as he fell down face first to the ground.
Eloquence continues going and flies past Link, landing against the wall, he kicks off the wall, lunging for Link for the final time. Link scrambles for the stake, diving for it. He succeeds and grabs it; he turns just as Eloquence lands on him. He didn’t have time to raise his stake as Eloquence hissed and bit down.
None moved in that room.
Link breathed heavily, as did Eloquence.
Link turns his head to look at Eloquence right in the eyes. Link had caught the vampire by the jaws, keeping his fangs away from his neck. Eloquence struggled and hissed. Link grunted and tightened his grip on Eloquence’s jaw; Link glared and said between his teeth, “I...will not...be ignored!!!!” he yelled the final word and ripped Eloquence’s lower jaw off.
The vampire cried out in pain as Link slammed the stake into his chest. Link pressed the extend button on the stake and the holy weapon extended, plowing through the vampire’s chest, through his heart, and out of his back.
After one last definitive scream, Eloquence shattered into dust, ash rained all over Link.
Link froze in that position for a long, long time. Finally, he regained his senses and stood up slowly. He had done it...he had won.
He knelt by the pile of dust and ashes. He stared at it intently before revealing a brown leather bag from his waist strap. Using his hands, he scooped up the ashes and placed them in the bag.
He re-strapped the bag securely to his waist, he knew what the next ingredient was, but he pulled out the Book of Modura from his pack anyways to make sure. He flipped through the pages until he found the ‘ingredients’ section for the spell.
He read the spell aloud to himself, “900,000 Hylian souls.”
He knew why it required this ingredient. Hylians were believed to be the closest to the goddesses; they say that the ears the Hylians possess give them the power to hear the goddesses speak their wills. Some are even gifted with magic.
He himself was of the Hylian race.
They were a divine race. Link knew what to do.
As he stepped out of the castle, he was bombarded by a crowd of onlookers. They all asked questions concerning the fate of the vampire they all feared so very much.
Link responded by telling them that the vampire was no more. Before the words completely left his mouth, the townspeople cheered and danced in happiness.
Men and women alike hugged Link and thanked him humbly, offering him gifts and even wives.
Link refused. He couldn’t accept these gifts; so much was running through his mind already. A six year old girl tugged on his arm. Link looked down and forced a smile at her. The girl, like most everyone else, was in rags; her yellow hair was tattered and covered with dirt.
She spoke, “Thank you, Mister...”
Link looked down on her sadly and asked, “What’s your name?”
She replied slowly, “M...Marin.”
“Marin,” Link said, “That’s a beautiful name.” the crowd went silent. Link looked around at all the liberated lives. The lives he saved...for now. He was met with smiles and friendly gestures.
“Mister...” Marin spoke timidly, Link looked down at her. Marin asked the question on everyone’s mind, “What are you going to do now?”
Link went silent. The crowd waited for his response. Link turned his back to her and asked, “Marin, may I ask you a question?”
Marin nodded, unsure, “O-Okay...”
“If,” Link began, “someone does something that people wouldn’t like, but he was doing it for a reason that’s good...is it actually really bad?”
Marin, using her six year old logic, answered, “I think that...it’s okay because it’s for a good thing...”
Link nodded slowly, “What if...everyone hates him for it, but in the end, he knows it’s all for the best and they’ll change their minds about him. What if he’s doing it for what he believes is right but no one agrees with him? Should he keep going?”
Marin struggled with her small vocabulary for words, finally, she replied with a hint of sureness, “My mom once told me to do whatever I think is right even if no one believes I could do it. I think that...if it’s for something good, you should do it, because it’ll help everyone.”
“Are you sure?” Link asked, “Where is your mother?”
Marin pointed into the crowd. Her mother smiled and nodded. Link saw this out of the corner of his eye. He said softly, “Then...this is right.”
“Please, Marin.” Link began, “I ask that you forgive me.” Marin gave him a quizzical look and asked, “What are you going to do, Mister?”
“I’m...” Link began, he struggled with the words. Finally, he managed to say, “I’m going to do what I believe is right.”
With his back still turned to her, Link went silent. Slowly, his hand glided up to the sword strapped to his back. He drew it out slowly. He said one last time, “Forgive me.”
Without giving Marin a chance to move, Link turns and slices her in the quickest way possible, he didn’t want her to suffer. He went for an instant kill. He sliced off her head.
The body crumpled to the floor.
Marin’s mother screamed. The crowd began to disperse in a wild frenzy; the men grabbed pitchforks and anything else they could use as weapons. Link spoke in an emotionless voice, “1 down...899,999 to go.”
Days later, the entire remaining Meldion population was wiped out. Link stared at the body of an elderly man he had freshly slain; the man was the final soul he needed. He pulled out a pulsing white orb, the orb was filled with the first 899,999 souls, including Marin’s.
He held it up to the body and the orb greedily sucked out the soul and ingested it with the others. Link heard the now common spectral scream as the soul was ripped from its body.
Link whispered as tears began streaming down his face, “I did it...”
He fell and buried his face in his arms, hugging his knees as the fires of the town lit up the skies.
Two days later, in the Kokiri Forest, Malon still lay in bed, she could sit up now, but Kiri told her to stay in bed for a few more days.
She sat up and sipped on a glass of water. She placed it back on the stool which stood beside her bed. She heard someone enter. It was Saria.
Saria stared at Malon for awhile. Malon began to feel uncomfortable. Saria whispered something to herself that Malon couldn’t hear. Saria forced a smile and walked over; Saria sat beside her on the bed.
Saria asked, turning her shoulders slightly and looking at Malon, “How are you?”
“I’m getting better.” Malon responded. She knew Saria was here for another reason, she wished that Saria would stop beating around the bushes and come out with it. But she could also tell that whatever it was, she had trouble saying it.
“I...” Saria began, “came to ask you a favor.”
Malon stayed silent, waiting for Saria to continue. She didn’t. Malon finally asked, “...What is it?”
Those words seemed to bring her back to life, “Someone’s tipped off the Hylian Government about the Kokiri Forest. They’re already planning some operation.”
“What do you want me to do?” Malon asked. Saria inhaled deeply and continued, “You know how I feel about Link, right?” Malon shook her head.
Saria looked away. She clenched her fists. Malon saw this. “Well, for a long time,” Saria said, “Zelda and I have had this rivalry...we both wanted to be in Link’s arms, but none of us would really have a chance with him.”
“What are you getting at?” Malon asked. Saria replied softly, “We’re leaving. The sages...it’s not safe for us here, you’re not safe either.”
“Do you want me to go with you?”
“That’s your choice,” Saria replied. Malon thought about this, “But...that’s not why you’re here is it?”
Saria shook her head, “No.” Saria left the bed and stood up by herself, she wrapped her arms around herself, “Do you remember when this mess started?”
Malon thought for a moment, her memory was still fuzzy, she let out a sigh and shook her head sadly, “The night when ‘Prince Derek’ was announced to be engaged to Zelda. That was also the night before my Birthday. But I didn’t think about that. Because I knew we had bigger problems to deal with. I feel bad, but...I was actually secretly hoping for that day to come...because it would give me a chance to be with him.”
She looked at Malon quickly before continuing, “I know it sounds greedy, but...I already feel bad about it. Anyway, after the party, Link went missing. I thought I knew where to find him, so I looked in our ‘Secret Spot’ by the Forest Temple. I knew he’d be there because that’s where we always go when we need some time alone. I met him there...at least, I thought I did. I guess by now you know that Derek was really Shadow Link, right?”
Malon nodded, “I do...it seems confusing, but I do.”
Saria stared at the wall as she spoke. She stared as if the wall showed her everything she needed to say, “I found out a few days ago that it was really Shadow Link I’ve been talking to that entire time. I was so stupid. I was so focused on getting a chance to be with Link that I never suspected a thing. I guess it was my fault. I wanted so much to protect Link while keeping him all to myself. I guess Zelda was right after all...I’m nothing but a greedy kid trying to look grown up.”
Malon wanted to say something, but she decided against it. Saria turned to her and said, “After ‘Link’ left, I decided to sleep and think things over. I guess while I was sleeping, Shadow Link wrote a note and left it by my bed. I woke up and found it.” She placed her hand on her stomach and caressed it slowly. Malon watched this, “I read the note,” Saria began, she was on the verge of breaking down right there, but she didn’t, “and I recognized Link’s handwriting. I never suspected that it would be a trap. I was stupid enough to think that this was a birthday present...it was my birthday after all. I was too childish to think that Link was still reeling over losing Zelda...why would he throw a surprise for me at a time like that? But I didn’t think...I was too excited. I thought that he would forget Zelda in one day and love me.”
Saria swallowed, “I arrived at the spot. That was where I was kidnapped by Shadow Link or Derek...and...” she paused, the name she thought of hurt her so much that it was painful to even think it. The name brought back horrible memories...memories that she will never, ever forget, “...Kerst.”
“I woke up chained to the wall...” she sat back down onto the bed. Malon held Saria’s hand as she spoke, “They asked me these weird questions, Derek looked familiar to me, but I was stupid. I didn’t realize the truth. I refused to answer...eventually, they found the answers themselves and...Derek left me alone the room with Kerst...”
Tears began to roll down her face as she struggled for words, Malon wiped the tears away from Saria’s face, “There, he gave me a birthday present...”
Malon looked at Saria’s stomach and gasped, “...My Gods...”
Saria nodded and cried, “I was weak...and that bastard...Kerst...he enjoyed every moment...I was so hurt...I felt so betrayed...so violated...so helpless. It was a horrible feeling.”
“But...how?” Malon asked, “How do you know you’re...pregnant? You can’t be sure.”
Saria looked down, still keeping her right hand on her stomach. Malon saw this and placed her hand on hers, “I know for sure...because...Kerst made sure...”
“But you’re only...” Malon began. Saria interrupted, “A kid? I’m eleven years old on the outside, but do you know what a Kokiri really is? We’re Hylian kids who play in these woods and stay here. The spell of this forest keeps chosen Hylian kids from changing on the outside. We’re immortal as long as we stay in this forest. If we leave, the spell is broken, and we’re mortal again, we’ll age and die like normal. I had real parents, you know...real normal Hylian parents who loved me...I haven’t seen them for twelve years. I don’t remember how they look like...or even their names...all I remember was that I had a fight with them...I wanted to play outside with my friends, but my parents said I was too old to do that and I needed to help around the house...I was so mad I ran away. I ran into the Kokiri Forest because I heard that the Kokiri never grew up...I wanted to be one of them...and here I am.”
“You...haven’t seen them for twelve years?” Malon asked, shocked. Saria nodded. Malon thought deeply on this and asked a question that bothered her painfully, “Saria, how old are you?”
“I’m eleven on the outside, but...” Saria paused, “on the inside, I’m twenty-three.”
Malon looked shocked, then she looked at Saria’s stomach, she hugged Saria tightly and said, “...That means...”
Saria finished the sentence, “I’m really a grown woman trapped in a little girl’s body...about to give birth to someone who would be just old enough to call my little brother...or sister.”
“So this is why...”
“This is why I wanted to grow up so much...I made the mistake of running away and turning into a Kokiri...I thought I wanted to be a kid forever, but now...I see that I was just a spoiled child, and now I’m paying for it dearly.”
“Malon,” Saria turned to Malon and held her hands in her’s, “I wasn’t strong enough for Link...I was too weak...I thought only about myself...I want you to take care of him for me.”
Malon looked down, “But...I...I can’t...we’re friends...that’s all.”
“No.” Saria shook her head, “Your eyes...I’ve seen them before. Zelda had those eyes whenever she looked at Link...I’ve had those eyes...I’m sure of it. Malon...how do you really feel about Link?”
“I...I...” Malon stumbled over her words; she looked away, unable to speak. Saria leaned in close to her face, “Please...tell me...tell yourself...I know you know it’s there...It’s always been there, I’ve seen it before...the way you look at him. The way you act around him. Malon, how do you really feel?”
Malon stared at her, “...I...” she went silent. Finally, after a long time, she looked up at Saria and said proudly, “I love-“
Someone interrupted them. Saria and Malon turned quickly to the door. Impa was standing at the door. Impa looked them both over and said, “It’s time. The wagon is ready. We have to leave.”
We Don't Do Taverns by Red Sparrow
“We Don’t Do Taverns”
“We’re here!” Red exclaimed triumphantly. They had arrived at a mining town built near the base of a mountain. Akari looked up with an exhausted face, “...where exactly is ‘here’?”
Red shrugged, “Don’t know.”
“Figures...” Akari muttered. She looked around and pointed at a tavern, “How about we go in there and check things out? We’ll ask for directions since ONE of us is too stupid to carry a map.”
“You shouldn’t say that about yourself, you’re too negative. Relax. I don’t have a map, either.” Red said, clueless. Akari gave him a sharp disbelieving look, “I was talking about YOU, Red-tard!!!”
“Anyways, let’s go!” Akari said. She began towards the tavern. When she realized Red wasn’t following, she turned and waited for him. Red didn’t budge. Akari sighed, “What now?”
“Well,” Red began, “I’m not very good with taverns...people in there don’t get along with me.”
Akari, remembering the incident from before, agrees. Of course, she was spying on him during that time, so she replied, “Fine, whatever, I ain’t gonna ask.”
She pointed to the spot Red was standing on, “We’ll meet here in fifteen.”
“Minutes...?” Red asked. “No, Years.” Akari said with cutting sarcasm. Red caught this and sighed, she seemed like such a nice person when they first met.
Given some free time, Red decided to check out the store and see what’s in stock, perhaps buy some things while he was at it. As he reached for the door, the door opened and slammed into his face, knocking him down. The opener of the door gasped and ran up to him.
Red was sitting up on the ground rubbing his nose. He looked up to see a young sixteen year old girl with blond hair and very faint red highlights, you could only notice the red when the light is shining directly on them. Her eyes were blue. He felt like he had seen those eyes before. Around her neck was a red jewel of some sort. The Goron Ruby. She wore a green tinted tunic. It looked worn out from constant traveling. At her waist was a quiver of arrows. Strapped tightly to her back was a bow. On her lower back was a short sword. She slung a travel pack over her left shoulder. She had an orange Popsicle in her mouth. She was holding two canteens of water in both hands.
“Ahr Ooh o-Ay?” she said, with the Popsicle in her mouth. Red stared at her blankly. She slung a canteen over her right shoulder, freeing her hand. She pulled the Popsicle out of her mouth, “I said, ‘Are you okay’? I’m Soooo sorry!”
She stuffed the Popsicle back into her mouth and offered a helping hand. Red accepted and she pulled him up. They still held hands. Neither made a move to let go, something had caught their attention, leaving both frozen on the spot. Red’s half of the Triforce of Courage glowed.
They stared up at each other. The girl’s Popsicle falls out of her mouth.
Akari walked towards the spot she was supposed to meet up with Red. She turned as Red was about to call out to her. She noticed someone with him, suspicious, she asked, “...Who’s the girl, Red?”
Red glanced at the girl beside him and said, “She’s-”
The girl interrupted and bowed, “My name’s Marin, but you can call me Swift.”
Akari nodded slowly and looked at Red, “So...while I’m in a smelly, drunk-filled tavern trying to find a way to get us to where we're going, you walk around and pick up girls?!”
“No, look!” Red said, grabbing Swift’s hand. He lifts it up. Akari’s jaw dropped, “Oh my Gods...the Triforce of Wis-!”
“Shh!” Red interrupted her before she could say anymore, “There are people out here looking for us.”
“What do you mean, ‘us’?” she asked, suspicious at everything now. Red raised his hand and Akari’s eyes widened, “Holy shi-”
“Quiet!” Red interrupted yet again. “Dammit!!!” Akari yelled, furious, “Stop interrupting me!!!”
Everyone around them stopped and stared at Akari as if she were crazy. The crowd backed away a bit. Red sighs. Swift whispers to Red, “Is your friend always like this?”
Red shrugged, “I think it’s a mood swing.” Akari narrowed her eyebrows and points at Red angrily, “Shut it! Don’t act like you know me! We’ve only been wandering around aimlessly with each other for three days!”
Swift whispered to Red, “I think you’re right...that time of the month.”
Akari thought about beating the crap out of both Red and Swift right there, but decided against it. “Look,” she said, “I’m sure someone in there has a map...or at least has a faint idea of where to go.” She points at the tavern, “If I had one other person with me, they’d probably talk.”
She looks at Swift, “Can you come with me?”
“Uhm...I...I don’t do taverns very well...” Swift said with an embarrassed tone. Akari looked at the two in disbelief, “What is wrong with you two?! These are drunken, miserable people we’re talking about! They’re about as harmless as a hamster with A.D.D.!!”
“Sorry.” Swift and Red said at the same time. They both stared at the ground.
They’re like...clones of each other...its scary... Akari thought to herself, “Then how else are we going to find a map?”
Swift’s ears perked up, “A map...To Hyrule, right?”
Akari looked at Swift. Swift pulls off her bag and places it on the ground; she rummaged through it and finally produces an old map.
“You’ve....GOT...to be kidding me.” Akari muttered in disbelief. What were the odds of encountering both the Triforces of Courage and Wisdom? And then getting a map to Hyrule? ...On the same day?
Minutes later, they were on the trail again. The town didn’t have a...respectable place to spend the night, so they decided to camp out when the sun goes down. The sun was still high in the sky, so they had a few more hours to go through.
“We’re going on an adventure! We’re going on an adventure! We’re going on an adventure!” Swift and Red chanted happily. Akari sighed loudly and finally explodes from frustration, “Will you two please SHUT UP?!?!”
Red and Swift both shut up and stare at the ground as they dragged their feet. Akari shakes her head and mutters quietly to herself, “It’s going to be a long....long....LONG journey.”
Best Friends Forever by Red Sparrow
“Best Friends Forever”
A gunshot rings out in a desolate forest. The birds instantly take off from their nests, flying far and away from the commotion below them. The cherry blossom leaves swirl around a blond haired 15 year old girl wielding a revolver. Around her neck, a white half-heart pendent hung. She wore black finger-less gloves. Her delicate index finger rested on top of the trigger. She wore a black short sleeved shirt; it was all unbuttoned, flowing freely in the breeze. Under the black shirt, there was a white sleeveless undershirt. She wore a short black leather skirt. Under the skirt, she wore long black pants.
She wore a red choker around her neck. It was originally a headband, but she tied it around her neck instead. The ends fluttered freely in the breeze that followed.
She narrowed her blue eyes and moved her thumb up and pulled back the hammer of her revolver. It clicked.
She pulled the trigger. The shot rolled around the mountains like thunder.
She twirled the revolver and placed it back into its holster. Which was strapped above the right side of her hip.
The moblin in front of her had a bullet hole in its head. It stayed standing, leaning its back against a tree. It stared lifelessly at the young deadly girl and finally, with another final breeze, it tipped over to its right and fell.
She walked past the corpse without a second glance, weaving her way out of the woods and back onto the road. She stopped suddenly and looked at her hand. It glowed with the Triforce of Courage, it was only half of the piece, but it showed that the gods recognized her valor.
She looked past the brush and at the seemingly normal foliage. She looked curious.
The girl lifted her revolver, snapped the chamber open and slipped in a single bullet. She snapped it shut, pulled back the hammer and aimed for a specific spot in the bushes. She fired.
The brush disintegrated slowly, revealing a castle. She smiled and walked towards it silently.
“Link...” Saria whispered. She was standing alone in the room with Link. Link stared at her with his piercing red eyes.
“...” Link stayed silent, taking in Saria’s mature form, her height, and her looks. Finally he spoke, “You’ve...grown into a beautiful woman, Saria.”
Saria didn’t let the words affect her. She knew Link wasn’t the same Link she knew. He changed for the worst. She shook her head and backed up against the cobblestone wall behind her.
Link looks at her disappointingly, “What’s wrong with you? I thought you’d be happy to see me.” Saria clenched her fists, “You’ve changed, Link...if we had met...under different circumstances...maybe.”
“You’re right. Silly me,” Link said, “I guess I’m the only one living in the past, then.”
“I never would’ve thought,” Link began, “That I’d meet you here. I never would’ve thought that YOU of all people would be the leader of a society hell bent on my destruction. Clandestine of Dusk indeed...it took me twenty years to find this place.”
“I know what you want!” Saria said, “If you want it, you’ll have to kill me first!”
“Don’t say things like that, Saria. I thought I meant more to you than that.” Link said, playing with Saria’s emotions.
“I...No! You’re not the same!” Saria shouted, torn between her old affections for Link and her duty to defend the world.
Link glanced at the door behind him, “Your daughter, she has that Zora Sapphire I’m looking for. She’s nothing to me. But she’s the world to you, isn’t she? You see? I know exactly where to hurt you, I know you, Saria.”
“You bastard! Don’t you dare lay a hand on her!” Saria shouted angrily, “You don’t know me! We’re strangers now! We’re enemies! I refuse to believe you’re the same sweet person I knew...the same person I-”
“Loved?” Link asked, tauntingly, he received a stunned look from Saria, “Isn’t it funny? I never knew so many girls wanted me back then...It must’ve had something to do with being the hero, eh?”
“It was...more than that. A lot more...” Saria said quietly.
Link smiled, “See? I know you inside and out...oh, and as for your little ‘agents’ I know about them, too. Ivan and Vincent, right?” Saria looked away.
Link continued to play his mind games with her, “I knew from the very beginning that they had ties to the Clandestine of Dusk, I just bided my time. I know about how they’ve kidnapped my daughter Marin. I know exactly where she is ever since she escaped. Ivan didn’t suspect a thing. Puppets on string, that’s how I came to find this place. So if you want to thank someone for inviting me here, thank Vincent. He took the torture for days before he finally cracked.”
Saria looked torn. Link laughed at this, “Don’t worry about Ivan, he doesn’t know anything about that.” He looks her over carefully, “There’s something between you two, isn’t there?” Saria stares at the floor.
He laughs, realizing the truth, “What a surprise! Don’t you see? Your efforts were all for nothing!”
“Your daughter, does she-” Saria began, Link interrupted, “Know? If course not. She has to remain innocent in all of this. She has the Goron’s Ruby, she’s in possession of the Triforce of Wisdom and made friends with the boy holding my crown and my Triforce.”
“And just what exactly is this plan, then?” Saria demanded. Link smiled, “To make history repeat itself. The pieces are all there. The hero. The princess. And,” he pointed to himself, “the villain. The Triforces will unite, and in that instance, I get to take part in the reenactment of that final meeting between Zelda, Ganondorf and I.”
“This is all...to relive the past?!”
Link smiled, “You could say that...but the plot runs much, much deeper than just that. There are only two things I need to know to make this the perfect plan...the location of the Kokiri Emerald and the other half of MY Triforce piece. I have a feeling you know. I want you to tell me...or your daughter, Vale, will die.”
Saria shook her head slowly, “None of this makes sense...you’re insane!” Link merely sighed and grinned, “Perhaps...”
“Vale,” Saria said, “you don’t know exactly where she is, do you? Otherwise, you would’ve brought her here already.”
Link smiles and puts his hands up in defeat, “Ah, you got me. I guess I can’t keep everything from you.” He glances back at the door behind him, “Nonetheless, I’m confident we’ll catch her. She’s in this castle, right? She won’t put up much of a fight against my men. We know she’s hiding somewhere, we’ll just have to start chopping heads until she shows.”
A gunshot rings out, echoing throughout the castle. Link turns to the door quickly, “Thunder?”
With Link’s back open to her, Saria runs towards him, drawing her knife.
Link turns quickly around and grabs her wrist. He twists it painfully, causing Saria to cry out and fall to her knees, she drops the knife.
He whispers into her ear, “You’d backstab me? You’re still full of surprises, Saria. Thankfully, you’ve also given me an idea. I’m sure your daughter will come if she hears her mother’s screams, won’t she? It’s like metal to a magnet, I’m a genius!”
Link leans in and kisses her hard on the lips; he pulls back and says, “Consider this death a gift, Saria. A gift from your best friend. Because,” he pokes her playfully on the forehead, mirroring her words from so long ago, "That’s what friends are for, silly!"
“Please...tell me...tell yourself...I know you know it’s there...It’s always been there, I’ve seen it before...the way you look at him. The way you act around him. Malon, how do you really feel?”
Link knelt down beside Saria. He gave her another firm twist on her wrist, causing her to gasp quickly in pain. Link examined her carefully.
“Don’t worry, Saria. I’m not sadistic like those freaks we used to face a long time ago.” Link said in a friendly tone. He slowly pulled a knife from its sheath, “But...there are some things that I can’t help but grow used to along the way...”
He slid the blade across Saria’s cheek, cutting a fine red line across. Saria tightly shut her eyes. Link smiled, “Tell me, Saria. Do you know what my favorite color is?”
“...Red?” Akari repeated. Red looked up at her. They had set up camp a few hours ago. It was dark, but bearable. The campfire cracked and snapped in the silence of the woods. It threw off a faint orange glow around the camp. The shadows of trees danced about in the light.
“Yeah?” Red replied, still somewhat in his daydream. Akari looked at him curiously, “You were pretty quiet for awhile. That’s very unlike you, what’s wrong?”
“Oh, uhm...I was just...thinking.” Red said, slowly. He glanced around and asked, “Where’s Swift?”
“She went to wash up in the river. She’ll be back in a few.” Akari replied. Red sighed and wrapped his cloak around himself. The wind blew, causing the flames of the fire to flicker.
“Akari?” Red asked. Akari looked up at him from across the fire, “Yeah?”
“Tell me about yourself.” Red said. Akari looked down and thought for a moment, “I guess now’s a good time to get to know each other...what do you want to know?”
“Anything...Do you have any parents?” Red asked. Akari thought for a moment and spoke, “I...have a mother who looked after me for awhile...we aren’t blood related.”
Red asked, “What happened to your parents?”
“That’s not a very happy topic...”
“Anyway,” Akari began again, “I met my adoptive mother when I was seven, I think...I can’t remember exactly. She’s a very nice person. Strict, but nice.”
“Maybe I can meet her one day.” Red said, looking into the fire. “If you play your cards right, then maybe.” Akari said with a faint smile, the fire highlighted the best features of her face, “Her name is Impa. I guess you could say that I look up to her a lot.”
“My dad,” Red spoke, “I looked up to him as well. I...I lost both my parents when I was ten, but I’ve managed. It’s been alright, I guess. I have a little sister, too.” A faint smile began to form on his face as he thought about it, “We were so close. I can tell that she looked up to me. Looking back on it, I don’t understand anymore. She was obviously the better out of the two of us. She could play music real well. She also took up a little training in swordsmanship. She’s a nice, smart person, too. She a good listener, she’d always know the right things to say.”
“Where is she?” Akari asked.
“Don’t worry too much about it. I’ve grown to accept it. It doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s alright.”
“You know,” Akari said slowly, “you’re an okay guy...when you’re not acting like an idiot, that is.” Red smirked, “It’s just part of my personality. I tend to act before I think.”
“I know.” Akari replied, “That’s why we’re here in the first place. But, you also have a lot of luck, too. If you didn’t pick to go down that one road, we wouldn’t have met Swift. She has a map to Hyrule. We were actually headed in the direction of a shortcut. It’s a pretty bizarre coincidence.”
“What is?” Swift asked, she had a towel draped over her shoulders. She sat down and rested her back against a tree. She was sitting between Akari and Red, forming an even triangle. “What are you two talking about?” she asked.
“We’re getting to know each other.” Red said.
“Oh, nice.” Swift said.
Silence. After a few more minutes of silence, Akari spoke up, “Well?” Swift stared at her blankly, “Well what?”
“Aren’t you going to tell us about yourself?” Akari asked, slightly aggravated.
“Oh!” Swift exclaimed, as if she remembered something important, “Well, my daddy’s a really great man. He’s done a lot of good things. Did you know he’s considered a hero by a whole lot of people? I remember him saying that he was going to try to bring peace to the world and stop all the needless fighting.”
“Your father sounds like a respectable person,” Akari said, “does he live in Hyrule?”
“Yeah.” Swift replied, “That’s why I’m headed there. I got...separated from him so very long ago. And now I’m going to try for a family reunion.” She sighed softly, “I hope I meet him again. I miss him a lot.”
Her hands moved up to the Goron’s Ruby around her neck. She ran her fingers along the red jewel’s surface.
“Did your father give you that?” Akari asked. “This?” Swift glanced down at the Ruby, “No. My mom gave it to me. She passed away when I was little. I don’t remember her very well. I have a picture of her.” She reached into a bag beside her and pulled out a neatly folded cloak. She unfolded it and pulled out a small framed picture that was placed in the center of the cloak. She wrapped the cloak around herself and passed the picture to Akari, “I don’t have a picture of my dad with me, but I’ll let you meet him when we get to Hyrule.”
Akari examined the picture. It showed a red haired girl smiling and standing in front of a big green open field, she had a pitchfork in one hand, she leaned it against herself. There was a horse to her right chewing on sod. Over her head was a sign. It read: ‘Lon Lon Ranch.’
“She’s very beautiful.” Akari said and tossed the framed picture to Red.
Red catches it and looks at it, “You look just like her.”
Swift looks at Red and nods, “I know...I got my hair color from both my parents. I’m blond; I got that from my daddy. But if you look carefully; you can see my mom’s red hair, too.”
Red tossed it to Swift, she catches it and holds it close, “I’ve had this ever since I got separated from daddy...I think it gives me good luck. When I look at this picture, all the bad feelings go away.”
They all went silent, each thought about their families. Red looked up and broke the reminiscent silence, “I think we should get some rest.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Akari agreed, “But one of us should stay awake to keep watch. We’ll go on one hour shifts each.”
“I’ll go first.” Red offered. Akari nodded, “Alright. I’ll go second. Swift’ll go third, then Red again and it’ll continue from there.”
They all agreed. “Well,” Swift wrapped the cloak tighter around herself as another breeze blew in, “Good night.”
“Night.” The other two said as they settled in for the night.
Red stared at the fire. He felt his heart pendent and sighed heavily, he then leaned his head back against the tree.
Trigger Happy by Red Sparrow
“I’m just wandering around, letting my feelings guide me. I don’t really know, ya know? Maybe I’m looking for something important, maybe I’m looking for nothing at all.”
Vale bursts into the room. She gasps as she sees Saria lying on the floor across the room from her.
Vale rushes forward, ignoring her feelings which told her that this was an obvious trap.
She knelt beside Saria’s body. Saria had her hands crossed over her chest. Vale stared at her mother’s emotionless face. Vale’s hand slowly reaches out, afraid to touch the cold hard truth.
She slowly places her hand on the side of Saria’s face. A tear fell. In the back of her mind, she knew Saria was dead. But in her heart, she prayed, she wished, she hoped that Saria still had an ounce of life in her.
She ran her hand down to Saria’s neck to feel for a pulse. It was then that her dreams were crushed. Her neck was broken.
The tears began to fall faster now; a single tear fell on Saria’s face before Vale leaned forward and buried her face in her mother’s chest. She cried and sobbed.
“How sad...” Link’s voice echoed from behind Vale. Vale ignored this and continued to cry against Saria’s chest, “How do you like it, Vale? Do you like this feeling? It’s called the ‘Pain of Loss’. I myself have experienced it far too many times. I’ve been let down too many times to even care.”
Vale, with her face still against Saria’s chest, opened her eyes, she whispered, but Link could hear, “...How could you...?”
“How?” Link laughed, “It was surprisingly easy. Can you believe that the last thing she said was ‘Link!’? Yes, she cried out my name before I snapped that neck of hers. It’s ridiculous, calling out for your own killer to save you.”
Vale leaned her head away from Saria, but continued to stare down at her. She ran her hands through Saria’s hair and spoke, “...She...loved you...she really did. Everyday, I’d hear her pray to the gods for a way to bring you back...for a way to have you be normal again. She never lost faith...I looked up to her, I wanted her strength.”
“Don’t bother wanting her strength, because it didn’t help.” Link responded sharply.
Vale continued, as if she didn’t hear a word he said, “She told me about...how strong you were. How you can always tell right from wrong...how you’d always cheer her up when she was down. She spoke of how much of a hero you were. But, the thing she always made clear was the fact that she loved you not because you were a hero, but because you were such a good person on the inside. She believed in her heart that you’d change...she wanted that more than anything else.”
“Well, I guess I let her down, huh?” Link said with a faint smirk, but anyone could tell that Vale’s words were drilling into him.
“How dare you...how dare you kill such a great person?!” Vale shouted, “She is so much stronger than you! She believed when everyone else doubted! She’d give it all away without a second thought...just even to have a chance of making the world a better place.” Vale stood up, “I’ve learned a lot of things from her...things I don’t think anyone else could teach me.”
She reached over her shoulder and pulled her staff from behind her back, she twirled it, “I’m going to make her proud. I’m going to follow in her footsteps.” She turned around and looked at Link with fierce eyes, “I’m prepared to give it all away and send you back to hell!”
Link clapped, “Very touching speech, my dear. Unfortunately, you have the same big mouth as your mother. I always found that quite annoying.” He lazily drew his sword, “I’ll do myself a favor and render this Clandestine of Dusk extinct. I don’t need you alive; I just need that Sapphire around your neck. Then, I’ll send you to Saria. It’s...the least I can do. I am a hero, after all, a legend. Don’t forget, Vale, I’m immortal, you can’t kill me.”
Vale knew this, but she still held firm to her goal, “...I don’t care...I’ll find a way!”
“Well, then.” Link got into his fighting stance, “En guarde!”
Another gunshot rang out, closer this time. That was their cue, at the thunderous sound, both combatants ran to meet each other.
Link’s sword slammed into Vale’s staff, the staff held firm. Link smiled, wanting to test out Vale’s skills, “You’re quite skilled, I can tell already. Don’t disappoint me, Vale. I want to see everything Saria’s little daughter can do!”
Vale pushed Link off of her with her staff and used her left hand to draw a thin sword. The sword was the length of her forearm. The hilt was actually a crescent moon. It had scriptures written on the blade. Her right hand twirled her staff. She was dual wielding two completely different weapons at once.
Vale ran forward and sliced at Link, but Link blocked. Vale then spun clockwise and swung her staff, striking Link on the cheek, knocking him away once again. Link kept his footing. There was no way he would suffer the embarrassment of being knocked off his feet by someone like Vale.
Vale rushed forward again, she spun her body clockwise, swinging with her staff this time, Link ducks under the blow. Vale continues the spin and extended her sword arm, Link blocked. Vale smiled, and hooked Link’s blade in her crescent moon hilt, she spins back counter clockwise and trips Link with her staff.
Link gets knocked off his feet and lands on his back; he quickly rolls to his feet and stares up at Vale in rage. This was the first time he encountered Vale’s fighting style, Vale spoke, “My mother taught me this style. She developed it herself and passed it onto me.”
Link replied sharply, “I don’t give a damn!” he ran forward again.
The blond haired girl with the revolver bursts into the library. She starts blasting rounds on the unsuspecting moblins inside. Six bullets dropped six enemies. The others charged. The girl counted, “...Thirty-three.”
She took her time loading the bullets into her revolver, pausing for five seconds after each bullet she slid in. It was a game she invented to make things interesting. If she encountered a large group of foes, she’d reload her revolver very slowly. If the enemy reached her before she could completely reload, she’d make a promise with herself to only use that many bullets to take down the entire group. In this case, she only managed two.
She ducked under an arrow and snapped the chamber shut, “Two bullets...this should be fun.”
Veil of Shadow by Red Sparrow
“All we can to do now is trust in Shadow Hyrule to deliver us from darkness...we should trust in the Wind Waker, the Hero of Winds. He doesn’t know it...and I doubt he ever will, but he’ll be saving more than just his sister.”
“Veil of Shadow”
The side of the castle explodes. Vale falls through the opening and lands on the second story roof. She arches her back and screams out in pain. Her eyes open and she sees Link, with his sword pointed down at her, fall towards her.
Vale rolls and dives out of harm’s way as Link’s blade impacts into the roof, throwing dust and particles everywhere.
As the dust clears, Link is seen kneeling, holding two swords: his own Hylian Sword and Vale’s Crescent Moon Sword. He had managed to take it from her.
Vale’s thin blade was never meant to be used in the way Link had wielded it. Cracks begin to weave themselves across the blade’s surface, and finally, the blade breaks off.
Link eyes the broken sword and scoffs, “Worthless garbage.” He tosses it away from him.
Vale takes this moment to try to end it in one last move. She leaps high into the air, using her magic to propel her higher than a normal person could jump.
She held the staff in her mouth as she crossed her arms. Vale closes her eyes as hundreds of cards began to materialize around her. The cards flutter around her wildly.
She opens her eyes and snatches six specific cards from the fluttering bunch without having to think about it. She throws each card in front of her, the cards stick to the air, floating before her. She had assembled the cards in a circle; in the center of that circle was Link. The other cards she didn’t need flashed and disappeared. Each card was a different color, red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. She held the sixth card, a white one. She throws it in the center of the circle of cards.
She begins her incantation, putting her palms together in prayer, her staff fades away into nothingness “Secret Arts of the Clandestine of Dusk!”
The cards disintegrate into pure light. She spins once, and extends her palm out at Link, a white ball pulsating with light in it’s divine form hovers in front of Vale’s outstretched palm, “Bereavement no Jutsu!!!”
Link’s eyes widen as he realizes that this was the exact same spell he himself knew. Was there a connection between the Clandestine and the vampire, Eloquence? But that was impossible, the Clandestine of Dusk was only recently formed. Was the society older than he had originally thought?
Link outstretched his palm and chanted, “Bereavement of the Heavens!” the spell forms in front of his hand, glowing with the same intensity as Vale’s.
Vale smirks and adds the final component to her spell, one that Link’s was missing, “Bereavement no Jutsu: Alpha!” the ball turns an angry orange, she fires.
Link didn’t have time to think as the killer ball of death roared towards him. It wasn’t near him yet, but Link could feel the intense heat of the spell already.
Link yelled as he fired his spell, “Dammit! That’s mine!”
His spell only flew a few inches forward when Vale’s struck with blinding force.
The resulting blast throws debris and brick everywhere. Vale lands on her feet gracefully, her cape slowly lowering itself onto her back, her hat still firm on her head.
She watches the smoke intently for any sign of life. A quick breeze blows and parts the smoke, showing nothing but bricks and dirt. Vale looks on in confusion, “What the...”
She looks up and sees Link falling down at her; he had his sword raised over his head, prepared to slice her in half.
She summons her staff and blocks. Vale’s staff shakes violently and finally gives way to Link’s sword, breaking in half. Vale falls backwards and lands on her back. As she sits up, she sees Link throw a punch at her. The punch stops centimeters from her nose, Vale was paralyzed as her mind tried to register what just happened. Link smirks, “I’ve never punched a woman in my life, I don’t plan to start now. There are other ways.”
His fist suddenly opens as he extends his palm out at her, “Bereavement of the Heavens!”
Vale’s eyes widen as Link unleashes his spell at point blank range.
Vale screams as the deadly spell strikes her entire upper body. She is thrown backwards and lands on the edge of the roof. Her face was scorched, but not much. She luckily managed to block with her forearms. Her arms were in bad shape, they were burned, and had intense scorch marks on them, blood leaked through the parted burnt flesh.
Vale stands up slowly, limping. Her clothes were burned and torn.
Just as she looks up, a knife flies and strikes her in the right shoulder, she cries out and stumbles backwards, teetering dangerously by the edge of the roof. Below her was a moat, but falling from this height was like falling down onto concrete.
She looks at Link with a pained expression, she didn’t want to lose, and she still had so much ahead of her. She refused to go down without a fight.
With her right arm dangling uselessly on her side, she draws a single yellow card from her pocket. She throws it in front of her in a last ditch effort to summon a finishing spell to save herself and take down Link.
The card hovers in front of Link, blocking her view of him.
Suddenly, an arrow rips through the card and strikes her in the stomach, Vale’s mouth opens to scream but no sound can be heard. With her hand still outstretched, she stands there for a moment as the magic card in front of her disintegrates to reveal Link lowering his bow.
Vale falls backwards towards the moat, but Link’s hand grabs her by the Zora Sapphire tied around her neck. Her hat falls off and floats down into the waters below.
Link speaks, “You’ve put up one hell of an effort, I’ll give you that. But like everyone else who had crossed me, I was one step ahead of you.”
Vale whispered faintly, “I swear...I’ll take you down...”
Link laughs, “How cute. The girl’s still got some fight left in her. You say you’ll take me down? Well, let me let you in on a little secret: You’re going to die, theres no way you’ll be able to kill me when you’re sleeping with the fishes.” Link gestured towards the moat below them.
Vale smiled faintly, “I’ll return...you’ll see. Even if you kill me, I’ll be back.”
Link laughs again and replied, not believing a single word she was saying, “I’ll be looking forward to your return then, Vale.”
“Now,” Link looked at the Zora Sapphire in his hand, “I’ll be taking this back!” he draws his knife and places it against the thread which the jewel was tied to. “Good bye, daughter of Saria!” he cuts the thread, setting Vale free for a freefall towards the moat.
There was a splash and Vale sinks to the bottom.
Link watches the bubbles for a moment before turning and walking away from the scene.
Vale opens her eyes slowly, seeing the surface of the water. She saw everything start to turn red as the water mixed with her blood. The water greedily flows into her lungs.
Her hand reaches up slowly towards the surface; it seemed so far to her. She closed her eyes, letting the darkness take her.
A gloved hand breaks the surface a few seconds later and grabs onto Vale’s outstretched hand. It pulls and Vale’s body resurfaces.
Everything was black to Vale, a veil of shadow. She felt herself leave the water. She coughed violently as her lungs rejected the water for air. She tried to open her eyes, but couldn’t. She tried to speak, but managed a faint whisper, “Who...?”
She was surprised to hear a girl’s voice, “A friend.”
Vale gasped for air and asked, wanting to know who her savior was, “...what...do I call you?”
There was a pause. The pause went on for a long time. She felt herself being carried. Vale heard movement, she felt her clothes being pulled off and replaced by a warm blanket. She was too numb to feel anything else, which was, in a way, a good thing, since the girl had to yank out the arrow and the knife from Vale’s wounds.
Vale was about to ask again when she heard the girl’s voice once more, “My name’s Sakura.”
Cliffhanger Underground by Red Sparrow
“Alright, then...uhm...left?” Swift said in an inappropriately happy voice.
Red and Akari trailed a little ways behind her, losing all motivation to go on. Swift tried her best to study the map, and thus far, it didn’t seem like they were getting anywhere.
Red and Akari walked and stopped by Swift’s side. Akari glances at Swift wearily, “Swift, I’m tired. Where the hell are we?”
Red would’ve put the question in a lighter tone, but that pretty much covered what was on his mind at that moment. “Well...?” Akari asked, running out of patience.
“Can I see the map?” Red asked. Swift hesitantly handed the map over. Red glanced at it for a moment, trying to get their bearings, “Ok,” he points at a small point in the map, “I’m thinking we’re here.” The others poke their heads in to see.
“According to the map...” Red continues, he points to his right, “We should head right.”
“Actually...” Swift said, “I think its left.” She points to the left.
“No, no no! You’re both idiots!” Akari snatches the map away, she examines it and points forward, “It’s up ahead!”
They all turn to each other and begin to argue.
Vale opens her eyes slowly. She stared at the ceiling as her vision began to readjust itself. She saw a plain white ceiling. She turned her head to the left to see a small stool and table beside her. The table had needles and a few other cutting instruments. The first feeling she felt was a throbbing sore pain in her throat. She was very thirsty. She couldn’t move her right arm; it was in a cast or a sling of some sort. She felt bandages wrapped tightly around her stomach.
Vale already figured out where she was. She was in a hospital of some sort.
“You’re awake.” a voice came from Vale’s right. She turns to see a middle aged brunette woman standing there in a nurse’s outfit.
“Where am I?” Vale asked.
“Why, you’re in the hospital, of course.” The nurse replied.
Vale shook her head, “I know that, but...what town is this?”
The nurse walked up to Vale and examined her carefully, “You’re in Lakel.”
Vale sat up slowly, “How did I get here?” she asked. The nurse replied, “Well, a young girl carried you in a week ago.”
“A week?!” Vale exclaimed in disbelief. This didn’t make her throat feel any better and she regretted it as she coughed. Each cough gave her more pain, which in turn, gave her more coughs.
The nurse picks up a glass of water from the table nearby and hands it to Vale, who drinks it heartily.
“This girl...how did she look like?” she finally asked as her coughing died down. The nurse thought for a moment, recollecting her memories, “Well, she had blond hair, blue eyes...she seemed very young, and I think she was thirteen, fourteen...no, fifteen years old. The thing I noticed about her was the strange object strapped to her side; I have no idea how to describe it.”
“Where is she?” Vale asked. The nurse glanced out the window and said, “She left the same day she brought you in.”
“Oh...I guess I’ll never get to thank her...” Vale sets her head back down and closes her eyes.
She mutters to herself, “...Sakura...” she lays there for a few more seconds before the truth finally strikes her, she sits up in alarm, “Oh, dear gods, SAKURA!!!”
The nurse jumps in surprise, dropping the tray she was holding; she rushes up to Vale to see what’s wrong. Vale turns to the nurse, wide eyed, “Sakura is Ken’s sister! She’s alive!!!”
She grabs the nurse by the collar and shakes her, “How could I have not realized?! Tell me!!!”
The nurse yanks herself away and stares at Vale with a disturbed look. Vale, seeing the look she was getting, realized that the nurse had no idea what she was talking about. She calmed herself down and set her head back onto the pillow.
She glances at the nurse for a moment, hoping she doesn’t get labeled insane, she adds, “Uh...sorry about that...I just uh...realized something.”
The group of Red, Akari and Swift walks through the last bushes and encounter what appears to be an abandoned mine. The mine was drilled into the side of a very, very steep mountain. There was no other way to pass the mountain except to climb it or go through the mine.
The three stare at the mine, and then back at the map. Akari turns to Swift and points at the mine’s entrance, “THIS is the shortcut?!”
“Uhm...I don’t understand. The map never said anything about a mine being here.” Swift mumbled.
Red sighs and shakes his head. Akari snatches the map from Swift and asks, “Just how old is this map?” Akari glances at the publishing date on the map and shakes with anger, “This map...is over ninety years old...!!”
Instead of sounding shocked, Red and Swift’s eyes light up in delight, Red exclaims, “That means the maps a relic, right?!” Swift joins in, “Yeah, we could sell it and make oodles of cash!!!”
Akari stares at the both of them and yells, “Idiots!! This map is WORTHLESS!!! No ones going to want a crappy map that’s out of date!”
Red and Swift, their dreams crushed, put their heads down, “...Oh.” they said at the same time.
Akari rolls the map back up and forcefully hands it back to Swift. She walks towards the mine. She stops by the entrance and turns back to the others, “Aren’t you guys coming? Or are you planning stare and wait for the mountain to disappear?”
Red glances at Swift before walking towards Akari. Swift stands still, not moving a muscle. Akari sighs and calls out to Swift, “What’s the matter now?”
“I-I don’t...like mines very much...it’s really dark in there...” she said timidly.
Akari, tired of all the mishaps, waves Swift off and walks into the mine, “Well, see ya, then. Have fun playing by yourself...”
Red hesitates, not wanting to leave Swift behind, “Akari, are we really going to leave her?”
Akari glances at Red and yanks him into the mine, “Trust me, she’ll follow.”
Red, unsure, says, “Are you sure?” Akari sighs, “Of course I am, dumbfuck.”
Red sighs, “You know, you should really stop cussing so much. It’s not very...uhm...lady-like.”
“...lady-like...?” Akari thought about this for a moment, “That’s an interesting take on things, so let me respond in the following way: Kiss my ass.”
Red just puts his head down and shakes his head. Seconds later, Swift cautiously enters the mine and joins them. “Glad you can join us, Swift.” Akari said, giving Red an ‘I told you so’ look.
“It’s kinda dark,” Swift said, looking into the depths of the mine, “I don’t like places like this.”
“Well, yeah, what part of 'Abandoned Mine' don’t you understand? Don’t be such a pansy.” Akari said and walked towards the darkness, “This is a mine, so theres probably a way to light the way or something. We’ll probably run into a few torches here and there to help us along.”
“No,” Swift said, drawing an arrow from her quiver, “we don’t need the torches...”
The other two turn to see what she meant. They watched as Swift concentrated on the arrow. Almost instantly, the arrowhead glows with a bright light. “The Light Arrow!” Swift declared triumphantly. Akari and Red just stared.
Thirty minutes later, the group was still wandering about the mines. Every minute that passed, gave each the impression that they were lost in this dark labyrinth and weren’t getting out.
Swift held the light arrow and stepped lightly to the right of Akari, who had made herself leader while inside the mine. Red was to Akari’s left.
The group stopped at two branching tunnels, “Great,” Red muttered, “a fork in the mine’s passageway. Which way, Akari?”
Akari thought for a moment, “Let me think for a sec.”
It was at that moment, that they all heard a sound echoing along the walls of the mine. The sounds they heard were footsteps...heavy footsteps. Whatever it was, it was huge.
Red and Akari drew their swords. Akari had a short Sheikah sword drawn, while Red had his traditional sword.
Swift’s hand reached behind her to draw her own short sword, it was only an inch longer than Akari’s.
The trio glanced around cautiously. The mine was eerily quiet now. None of them dared to make a sound, “I think,” Red began with a whisper, “whatever that was, sees us right now.”
“Obviously.” Akari agreed.
Swift begins to slowly back up. She suddenly bumps into something large and hard. Swift turns slowly to see what it was, her heart was racing wildly. Red and Akari turn quickly as she lets out a scream, coming face to face with the source of the sounds. She drops the arrow, their only source of light, and everything goes black.
“I apologize for scaring you, Goro.” The Goron said in an apologetic tone.
The trio was in a brightly lit part of the mine. They were talking with a Goron.
Akari sighs, “Well, at least it wasn’t something dangerous. Having Swift freak out like that and extinguishing our only source of light put us in a very deep disadvantage.”
Red agreed, but he was paying more attention to the Goron. This was the first time he had ever seen one.
Akari questioned something, “What are you doing in a dump like this, anyway?”
The Goron looked at Akari and replied slowly, “I live here, Goro.”
“...Live here?” Red asked.
The Goron nodded, “Yes, Goro. This is near the entrance to the Goron City, Goro.”
Swift looked up at the Goron with childish eyes while Akari sighs and mutters, “That’s going to get annoying, I just know it.”
Swift looked at the Goron curiously, moving closer to it, “So, uhm...why do you always say ‘Goro’?”
The Goron blinked, “It’s how I talk, Goro.”
“I think it’s cute, Goro!” Swift said with a smile. She hopped onto the Goron’s back and wrapped her arms around it’s neck, “Say it again!”
The Goron blinked, “Goro?”
Swift laughed, “Goro!”
“Goro?” the Goron repeated.
“...Goro!” Swift said happily.
“...Stop.” Akari said, trying to keep her cool.
“SHUT UP!!!!” Akari exploded, bringing everything back into silence. Swift looked at Akari and blinked. The Goron stared, he looked fearful of Akari. Red just averted his gaze. Akari was scary when angered.
Akari noticed the bad reception she was getting and cleared her throat, “...Sorry.”
Swift lets go of the Goron and drops down onto the ground, “Isn’t this Goron cute? Let’s keep him! Can we?”
Akari stared at Swift and shook her head, “...No.”
Red, wanting to get out of this mine, decided to ask a question, “Where exactly is this Goron City?”
The Goron looked at him and replied, “Its a little ways more down this path, Goro. I was guarding the entrance when I heard some noise, Goro. I decided to check it out when I found you three, Goro.”
“We were that loud?” Swift looked surprised. Red, eager and curious to see more Gorons decided where the group should go next, “Let’s go to Goron City, then!”
Akari looked at the Goron, “That is allowed, correct?”
The Goron looked at the three and asked, “Are you three refugees, Goro?”
“Refugees?” Red asked, Akari looked curious to find out also. The Goron nods, “Yes, Goro. Refugees from Hyrule, Goro. We have many here, Goro. They’ve all traveled a long way to get here, Goro.” Red glances at Swift and he catches a nervous expression on her face. Akari also catches this and takes note of it.
Red shakes his head, “We aren’t refugees, but we’d like to go there. We need some directions to Hyrule, and possibly a map if that’s possible. I’m thinking we could get some info if we talk with the Hylian Refugees...is that alright with you, goron?”
The Goron nods, “I’m sure it is allowed, Goro. Please follow me, Goro.”
The Goron walks two steps forward and turns to face a wall to his right. He places his hand on a slab of rock and moves it aside. Light flows in immediately. Akari whistles, “Wow. That was fast...”
“Please enter, Goro.” The Goron said. The four of them filed into the passageway, the trio stared in complete wonder.
“Whoa,” Red began, “this place is-“
Swift continues the sentence, wearing the same shocked expression as Red, “really really-”
Akari finishes their sentence, “big.”
Angels Crying (Part Three) by Red Sparrow
“Angels Crying (Part Three)”
Link looked up into the dreary sky. The rain pounded against his face and rolled down, dripping off of his chin and onto the ground. He was leaning against the side of a house. This was a simple house with two rooms. A bathroom and a room for...everything else, but it was still a nice place to stay. Malon and Link lived there together.
They were in the town of Windfall.
Thunder rolled across the heavens as lightning sliced the sky.
Link felt a hand on his shoulder; he turned and saw Malon with an umbrella over her head. Malon looked at him with a perplexed expression and asked, “What’s wrong with you? Standing out in the rain like this, you’ll catch a cold, or get struck by lightning, or both!”
Link turned his head to Malon, “I just think the rain is relaxing, that’s all.”
Malon shook her head, “You’re a very depressing person to be around, you know.” Link eyed her and replied, “What makes you say that?”
“I read in a book somewhere that people who like rainy days over sunny ones are the depressing types with emotional problems...or something like that.” She said, searching her brain for the exact words.
He smirked and looked back up at the sky, “You know, books never tell you everything. Maybe I just like the rain. There doesn’t have to be anything deep about it. You’ve got to admit, it’s a nice feeling.”
“Yeah,” Malon said sarcastically, “just wait until you get struck by lightning, then we’ll see how nice it feels.”
Link smirked and glanced at the umbrella, “A lot coming from someone walking around with a lightning rod.”
Malon glanced up and pouted, knowing Link was right, “You’re such a jerk. You love it when you’re right.”
“I try.” Link said with a smile. He glanced at the umbrella again, “Why don’t you get rid of that thing?”
Malon shook her head, “No thanks. If you’re not coming, then you can sleep outside with the rain.” Link sighed, “Why don’t you just hang out with me for awhile?”
She faked a laugh, “Sure...and wake up feeling like hell? No thanks.”
She turned and headed back. Link’s hand reaches out and grabs her by the wrist, he turns her around and says, “...Please?”
Malon averts her gaze, “...I...”
Link looked her in the eyes, “I thought you liked me.”
Malon thought for a moment, “I just...like you...not like you like you.”
“What?” Link asked, confused. Malon sighed, “Well...uhm...I guess, but the umbrella stays.”
“Whatever you say, just come on.” Link smirks. Malon leaned against the wall beside him, “...I’m here...now what?”
“We listen.” Link replied, Malon raised a brow, “...Listen? To the rain?” she shakes her head, “You’re such a dork.”
Link laughed, “True.”
“I don’t get it...I’m not feeling anything. We could get the same effect from the shower, except its nice and warm.”
“That’s because you’re doing it wrong.” Link said. Malon tilted her head to the side and looked at him, “How?”
Link reaches over and yanks the umbrella from her grasp, “You don’t need an umbrella.”
Malon, wet and cold, shouted angrily, “Hey! Now look what you’ve done. I’m wet...!” she reaches over for it, “Gimme back!”
Link raises the umbrella high over his head, “No way.”
Malon hops for it, but Link lifts it higher whenever she does, “You jerk, give it back!”
Link laughs, enjoying this very much, “C’mon Malon, jump for me!”
Malon gives him a glare and stomps on his foot. Link instinctively lets go of the umbrella and hops on one foot, “Ouch!”
Malon grabs the umbrella and runs towards the house, laughing the entire way. Link recovers and runs after her, he was the faster of the two. Link catches up immediately, “Get back here!”
Malon looks over her shoulder and smirks, “I’m locking your rain-loving butt outside, Link!”
Link nears her and reaches his hand out. Malon suddenly stumbles, slowing down greatly. Link, unable to stop, runs into her. They both fall onto the ground.
When they both came to, Malon finds herself pinned under Link. Link had her hands pinned over her head. Link asks as the rain pours onto them, “So...what do think of the rain now?”
Malon smiled back at him as the sight of him set her heart ablaze, “...I don’t care about the rain much, but...I’m enjoying the view.”
Link looks her in the eyes. Malon sneezes in Link’s face, breaking the mood of the moment. Link instantly lets go and sits up, freeing her. Malon sits up and watches as Link wipes his face, “Nice one.”
Malon looks slightly angry, “Now look at what you’ve done!”
Link laughs, “That’s what you get for staying in the rain.” Malon narrowed her eyes as Link stands up, “It was your idea in the first place, Fairy Boy!”
“Fairy Boy...?” Link said, “I don’t have a fairy anymore, remember?”
Malon shakes her head, “It just has memories that go along with it, that’s all.” She looked serious and stared up at him sternly, “Now are you going to stand there or are you going to help me up?” Malon wiped the water off her face. Link half kneels and reaches out to her. Malon accepts and Link pulls her to her feet.
They looked at each other for a moment before they both suddenly sneeze at the same time. Their heads collide with each other.
“Ow!” they both said in unison. Link grabs his forehead and stumbles backwards against the glass window of their small house.
Malon holds her forehead also and stumbles forward, into his arms.
Malon winced and looked up at Link, “You klutz, now you’re sick, too. That’s what you get for dragging me outside into the rain like this.”
Link shrugged, “I don’t know...but I don’t mind being sick.”
Malon looked up at him; she realized that his arms were around her. She felt so protected...so safe.
She didn’t move a muscle, but said, “You...can let go now.”
Link looked down at her, he released her. His hand moves up to her face and wipes some of the rain from her eyes, “Like that?”
Malon frowned, she said softly, “You jerk, why’d you let go...?”
Link blinked, confused, “What? But you just told me to.” He sighs, “You’re so confusing...”
Malon smiles up at him, “I’m a girl, that’s my job.”
Link looked confused, “But-”
Malon interrupted him with a firm, passionate kiss, she put her hands on his chest. Link looked surprise for a moment before closing his eyes slowly and rewrapping his arms around her protectively, deepening the kiss.
Malon broke the kiss and whispered, “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time...”
Link just smiled softly, “Glad to...help.”
Malon put one arm around his neck. She placed her lips a few centimeters away from Link’s; she closed her eyes halfway, tilting her head slightly to the side, “Link...?”
Link closed his eyes halfway, anticipating another kiss, “...Yeah?”
“I...” Malon began. At that moment, she thought of what Saria had told her.
“Malon,” Saria turned to Malon and held her hands in her’s, “I wasn’t strong enough for Link...I was too weak...I thought only about myself...I want you to take care of him for me.”
Malon looked down, “But...I...I can’t...we’re friends...that’s all.”
“No.” Saria shook her head, “Your eyes...I’ve seen them before. Zelda had those eyes whenever she looked at Link...I’ve had those eyes...I’m sure of it. Malon...how do you really feel about Link?”
“I...I...” Malon stumbled over her words; she looked away, unable to speak. Saria leaned in close to her face, “Please...tell me...tell yourself...I know you know it’s there...It’s always been there, I’ve seen it before...the way you look at him. The way you act around him. Malon, how do you really feel?”
Malon stared at her, “...I...” she went silent. Finally, after a long time, she looked up at Saria and said proudly...
“Link, I love you.” Malon said.
Link didn’t respond. He leaned forward and kissed her deeply. Without breaking the kiss, the switch places. Link intertwines his fingers with Malon's as the rain falls.
Minutes later, they were both inside, lying in bed together. Their clothes were strewn around the floor. Link was on top, kissing Malon gently on the lips. She closed her eyes and accepted it. Link breaks the kiss and trails tiny kisses lower, causing Malon to arch her back and moan softly in pleasure. She runs her hands through his hair.
Meanwhile, the rain continues to fall onto the window.
A year has passed. Malon was inside looking down at her baby’s crib lovingly, “Hey, Marin. You’ve got to fall asleep, you know...” she says. Malon reaches into the cradle and pulls the little baby girl out. She cradled her daughter in her arms and hummed a lullaby, trying to put her to sleep.
Still humming, Malon walks over to the window and stares out, waiting for Link to return. It was late in the evening; the sky was clear, letting the moonlight shine to its fullest
Link walked down the streets. He had a fishing rod slung over his shoulder, he muttered to himself, “I knew I shouldn’t have taken a ‘nap’. I’m such an idiot. Malon’s gonna kill me.”
“I’m afraid she’ll have to wait her turn.” a new voice sounded from behind Link. Link instantly turns around, “Who are you?” he demanded.
The man in front of him looked to be an out-of-towner. His clothing was different. He had a thick beard and was in his late forties.
The man looked Link over, “You forgot us already?”
“‘...us...’?” Link repeated. He looked around; he saw that he was surrounded.
The men had an assortment of weapons. Two of them held chains while the rest wielded axes, swords, and daggers of all shapes and sizes.
“Who are you people?!” Link shouted, growing tense. Link drops his tackle-box and the basket with the fishes he caught from the river.
The first man spoke, “We are the survivors of Meldion, the town you wiped out mercilessly!”
Link’s eyes widened, “...no...”
“Yes, Link...we’ve finally found you. It was just a matter of gathering information.”
Link tightened his grip on his fishing pole, “I’m sorry...I was tricked.”
The man shook his head angrily, “Do you think an apology will erase all the pain?! Having to watch you behead my own daughter...I have nightmares every time I close my eyes...that image, replaying itself over and over again...right in front of my eyes...you monster!!!”
“An apology will never bring her back!” the man shouted louder.
“And killing me will?” Link asked.
“No! Killing you will finally put those souls you’ve stolen to rest!”
Link put his head down, not bothering to deny that fact. The man started again, smiling this time, “I understand that you named your daughter after mine...that at least proves that you suffer on the inside as well.”
Link suddenly looked defensive, “Don’t lay a hand on them...”
He glanced behind him; he could see his house clearly.
The man looked at Link angrily, “No...They’re in this, too. I’m going to teach you the meaning of the term, ‘Pain of Loss’.”
The man suddenly springs forward, his knife shone in the moonlight. Link reacted fast, sidestepping the amateur swing and swinging downward with his fishing pole. Link breaks it over the man’s head, knocking him unconscious.
Link turns just as the others charged.
Malon walked back over to the window, she had just finished tucking Marin into her crib. Marin was sleeping silently.
Malon held a mug of black coffee. Raising a baby was a lot tougher than she had originally thought. Link was there to help her, of course, but he never does anything right, she knew that he at least tries, so in the end, it all works out...in a way. The coffee was now her best friend, “Thank the goddesses for coffee.” she muttered as she reached the window.
As soon as she sees the scene outside, she gasps and drops her mug.
Link was still unscratched, but he was tiring quickly. His movements slowed, causing the blades swung at him to come closer and closer each time he dodged.
Suddenly, he felt a metal chain wrap itself around his arm. Before he could react, another chain wraps itself around his other arm. The chains pulled tightly. Link felt the back of his knees get kicked.
Link falls on his knees. He was now trapped and under their mercy.
One of the men walked forward and gave him a swift punch to the face, cutting the top of Link’s eyebrow, blood flowed freely from the freshly opened wound.
Malon watched this scene, she tightened her fists. She had to do something. She turned away from the window and her eyes darted for the bow and arrow displayed on the wall. She glanced at her daughter sleeping peacefully in the crib, Malon made up her mind.
Link leaned forward and gasped for breath as the attacker punches him hard in the stomach.
An arrow slices through a chain, freeing one of Link’s arms. Before anyone could react, the same happens to the second chain.
Link falls forward; he reaches his hand out and stops his fall, Link looks up.
Everyone else turned to see the source of the arrows.
Malon held the bow and pulled another arrow from the quiver strapped to her hip, “Leave my husband alone! He’s not into the whole bondage thing!”
“Malon...” Link whispered. This was the worst thing that could happen. These men were out to hurt Link in everyway possible...now Malon has just offered herself to be used.
Half of the attackers ran to Malon. Malon expertly picks four off before realizing that they were coming in too fast. The one closest to her leapt into the air and raised his sword over his head, prepared to slice Malon in two.
Malon looked up and closes her eyes, she screamed. There was a loud metallic clang as Link slides in front of her and blocked with the sword he had picked up from one of the men Malon had downed.
Malon opened her eyes as Link pushes the man away with his sword, Link leans forward, giving Malon an open shot. Malon nocks the arrow and fires. The man drops with an arrow in his head.
After five more minutes Link and Malon were sitting down, breathing heavily. Around them, bodies of the men were scattered about.
Malon looked at Link, “...are you alright?”
Link gave Malon an angry look, “Malon, why’d you have to interfere!? ...What would have happened if I didn’t make it in time?!”
Malon looked at Link and matches his angry look, “If I hadn’t come, you would’ve been killed! Do you expect me to sit and watch as you get killed by these freaks?!”
Link went silent, “...I’m sorry...I was just-”
“-worried.” Malon said softly, “I know...I was, too...I guess love makes people do crazy things, huh?”
They began to hear the sounds of people approaching, probably the local law enforcements finally arriving in their usual tardiness.
Malon stood up, she offered Link a helping hand, “Come on, you’re going to get your clothes dirty lying in the dirt like that.”
Link forces a smile, despite narrowly surviving a near death experience. Link reaches up and Malon struggles to pull him up, she mutters, “A little help here?”
Link laughs and stands up without any help from Malon. Malon began, “Look, Link, if-” she suddenly jolts. Link looked at her, confused.
Malon’s face contorted in shock. Her hands reached down to her stomach, she felt an arrowhead piercing out of her, “...Link...?” Malon whispered, her voice trembled as she struggled to talk. She fell forward.
Link’s eyes widen, “No...No!!!” he reaches forward to catch her. Another arrow plunges through her back and protrudes out of her chest, through her right lung, causing her to cry out in unbearable pain. The sound of Malon's pain was breaking his heart.
Link catches her. He looks over Malon’s shoulder and sees the first man he spoke to throw the bow down and draw his sword.
The man ran forward, raising the sword over his head, prepared to strike down both Link and Malon.
Malon sees this and pushes Link away; Link stumbles backwards, already off balance to begin with.
Malon felt the sword slice at her back; she screamed and turned to face her killer. The man pulled his sword back and plunged it through her stomach. Link saw the sword jut out of her back, covered with blood.
Link, consumed by a mad fury, rushes forward, letting out a battle cry. Link picks up a sword without slowing down. Malon’s murderer yanks the sword out of her, causing Malon to fall backwards. Link runs past Malon as she continues to fall.
Link reaches the man and plunges the thin sword through his throat. The man gasped, but instead of dying immediately, the man managed to somehow say in a slightly gurgled voice, “...Suffer.”
Link narrows his eyes and shouts, “You bastard!!!!” Link twists his blade and pops the man’s head off. The headless horror falls backwards and lands just as Malon hits the ground.
Link turns back to Malon and drops his sword. He falls on his knees beside Malon and held her, Link looked desperate, “Malon?! Malon!!! Please, don’t...don’t die...not like this! This can’t be happening! Not again!!!”
Angels Crying (Finale) by Red Sparrow
Saria smiled softly, “...you were never good at lying.”
Link wiped a tear from Saria’s face and said “Sorry.”
Saria coughed out some blood and said weakly, “...Don’t be. That’s not really a bad thing. That’s why I like you, you’re honest.”
--Shadow and Light 1: Princess Tears
“Angels Crying (Finale)”
“Sir?” the doctor approached Link. They were in a very small hospital within Windfall, but it had a good reputation.
Link looked up, he had come in everyday ever since that incident with the Meldion survivors. Every night he had prayed that Malon would be spared.
Link stood up and looked at the doctor, “Yes? What is it?”
“I’m so sorry that I have to tell you this, but Ms. Malon seems to be showing some symptoms.” Link looked at the doctor carefully, “Is it fatal?”
The doctor nodded, “The sickness has a 91% fatality rate...she’s shown the signs...profuse sweating, painful muscle contractions around the jaw and neck area. She can still speak, but I’m not sure for how long. Currently, she feels intense spastic pain in her stomach area...the sword’s point of entry.”
Link tried to stay calm, “What’s it called?”
“Tetanus.” The doctor replied softly, being careful not to speak too loudly, they were just outside Malon’s room.
“...Tetanus?” Link asked, “Isn’t there a cure of some sort?”
The doctor shook his head, “With the present technology of Hyrule, I’m afraid that’s not possible...”
“Then,” Link began, beginning to show desperation in his voice, “what do you suggest we do?”
The doctor went over his words carefully in his mind, “...I’ve seen many patients die of this disease...suffocation due to the paralysis of breathing muscles within the lungs, contractions...it’s a painful way to die. I, as one living being to another...suggest we administer a poison into her and at least make her death a painless one.”
“That’s it? We just let her go?” Link muttered angrily. The doctor nodded slowly, “I’m sorry.”
Link grabs the doctor by the collar and slams him against the wall, “Like hell you are!!!” he shouted.
“Please, control yourself, sir.” The doctor said as Link glared at him.
“Link...?” Malon’s weak voice called out from inside the room, she sounded like she was in so much pain.
Link sets the doctor down slowly after a few moments. “Fine,” Link said with a defeated and sorrowful tone, “...I don’t want her to go through any more pain than she already has.”
“...so you’ll allow the injection?” the doctor asked.
“Are you sure it’s painless?” Link asked. “...Yes.” was the response.
Link nodded slowly, “I’m...going to check on her, is that okay?” the doctor nodded, “Yes...go on. I’ll be back shortly.” The doctor turned to the nurse down the hall and gestured her over as Link entered Malon’s room.
At the sight of her pained expression, Link felt like he was going to break down right there, “Hey.” Link began.
Malon nodded at Link and tried her best to smile, “H-hey...” she strained to say.
Link pulled up a stool and sat down beside her; he reached over and wiped the sweat from her forehead. Malon closed her eyes tightly and said, “...A-am I...going to be...o-okay?”
Link smiled at her, “Yeah, the doctor said that they’re going to put you to sleep so that they can treat this disease better.” It hurt to lie, but he knew that this was far better than the truth, “You’re going to be fine,” Link repeated to himself, he then focused on Malon again, “when you wake up, you’ll be fine...you’ll be fine.” He said again, wishing he really meant it.
Malon, trusting in Link completely, forced another smile and said with a trembling voice, “You’ve...” she struggled to inhale, “said that...already, Fairy Boy.”
Link replied slowly, “Sorry.”
“H-how’s...Marin?” Malon asked.
“She’s doing alright. I’m getting used to taking care of her now. I’ll bring her over after this so she can see how mommy's doing.” Link said.
“See? ...I...told you that you...can learn to...take care of her if you try.” Malon said, it hurt horribly to talk, “Make sure you...don’t...teach her to walk...without me, I want t-to be there.”
“Malon,” Link began, serious, “I’m sorry this happened to you.”
Malon gave Link a loving look, “Don’t...worry...about it...I’m going to be okay...that’s all that matters, a-anyway...” she suddenly strained as she began to half cough and half gag. Tears rolled down her face as the pain shook her.
Link reaches out and holds her hand tightly as she continued to cough for several minutes. Slowly, she calmed down. She looked at Link with watery eyes, “I...don’t blame you...for anything, Link.”
“But,” Link said, sounding near the edge of complete hopelessness, “it was my entire fault. If only...if only I was still a hero like I was before...I could’ve stopped this from happening. I would’ve stopped Hyrule from falling. No, not just Hyrule, I would’ve stopped the world from tearing itself apart...if only I could...I’ll change the world.”
“D-don’t talk like that...” Malon whispered in a hoarse, but gentle voice, “that makes you....sound arrogant. N-no one can change the...world like that. It’ll take...a million life times for one person. Link...You’re only you. You’re mortal like the rest of us...you’re not...invincible, Link. You’ve got to remember that. You’re no god. But,” she tightened her grip on Link’s hand, “You’re...the man I love, that’s all I really care about. You’ve changed me...made me stronger...you’ve given me the best gifts anyone’s ever given me. Your love...and our daughter, that’s what I care for.”
“But, that wasn’t enough...” Link whispered, “Look what’s happened. Look at what’s happened to Hyrule, to Zelda...to Saria...and now, to you. I wasn’t able to save anything. I’m a failure as a Hero...and now I’m a failure as a husband. What is wrong with me?!”
“L-Link, please...” Malon begged, “I...don’t like to...see you like this. Everyone makes mistakes...all that matters is that in the end, you learn from those mistakes and move on. That’s what will make you stronger. And maybe...you’ll change the world after all...little by little, a world for us...for our little daughter...for everyone. That’s what I truly wish for, but even I know that it won’t happen...that’s how life goes. We can’t have everything we want...no matter how hard we try. What matters is that we take what little we have and make the best out of it...and maybe something more.”
“You’re right,” Link said, “I’m only mortal...I’m no god.”
The doctor entered, but stayed at the door.
Malon noticed the doctor. Link turned and looked. The doctor nodded slowly and walked in. A nurse followed, she wore a blank face. She knew full well what was to happen. She held a tray with the needle and the poison, the poison was a bluish color.
“I guess...this is it...” Malon said, tears began to form, “...I’ll...see you again.”
Link turned to Malon and nodded, “Yeah, you’ll see me again, and Marin, too.”
“I’m glad,” Malon said, “I’m glad that I’ve found someone as kind as you...I know I’m not worthy of you, yet you still...chose me...regular old me.”
Link shook his head and smiled at her, “No, I chose you because you’re the one who brightens up my life...you’re the one who gives me a purpose to keep living...and more importantly, you’re the one my heart chose to love.”
“Thank you, Link...” Malon said, “Thank you for being such a kind person to me...”
The doctor set down the tray on the counter beside the bed.
“I guess...it’s time.” Malon said with a smile.
The doctor placed the point of the needle against Malon’s arm, behind the elbow. Link stopped the doctor, “Wait.” The doctor looked at him, “What is it?”
Link looked back at Malon, “I...want to be the one...who does it.”
The doctor nodded slowly, “...Alright.”
He handed Link the needle. Link lets go of Malon and examines the liquid inside. He takes a deep breath, and he looks at Malon for a moment, she gave him that loving smile she always gives, one that spoke of trust, dedication and love.
Link placed the needle against her arm, “Good bye, Malon...until we meet again.”
Malon smiled, “Until we meet again, Link...till death do us part.”
Link nodded, “Till death.”
He juts the needle into her and injects the entire contents of the needle into her. She winced slightly at the touch of the needle.
Link pulls the needle out quickly and drops it onto the floor. Malon felt the poison flowing through her. Suddenly, her arm contracts slightly as the poison began to take effect.
She reaches up with one hand and Link snatches it into his, holding her tightly, “You’ll be alright, Malon.” He said as tears began to fall down his face. The doctor turned away. The nurse, unable to take this scene, walks out of the room to wait in the hall by the door.
Malon, feeling herself fading, said softly, “...Thank you, Link...I-I guess this is the end for me...do me a favor and stay alive. Remember...what I...said.”
Link looks up, surprised, “Malon?”
Malon smiles, “You’re a bad liar, Link...Saria told me. But that’s what I like about you...you’re honest. Never change, Link, stay like you are now, a sweet and kind person.”
Link nods slowly, “...”
Malon suddenly gives another jolt and gasps for air, “Link...!” she called out suddenly, and went limp. Her chest sunk slowly as her final breath left her.
Link, still holding on to Malon’s hand, set his head down and cried onto her chest.
“Don’t worry, Marin.” Link said as he tried to rock his daughter to sleep in his arms, “Daddy is right here, honey.” He was in their house. It was only a few hours after Malon’s passing, but Link felt empty already. He wished that he could hear Malon scold him for rocking the baby wrong...anything that told him that she was alive and well.
Marin continued to cry, Link still hadn’t been able to completely calm her down. He was still struggling with Marin.
He knew she wanted Malon to hold her, but he knew that wasn’t possible. His eyes darted around as he continued to rock and say gently, “Shh, Marin, don’t cry...daddy’s here for you.”
His eyes spot the picture of Malon on the shelf. He walks over and takes it. It was a picture of her in her full teen youth; she had a pitchfork over her shoulder, smiling happily. There was a horse in the photo chewing on sod. Over her head was a sign that read ‘Lon Lon Ranch’.
He walks over to the chair by the window. This was Malon’s place for when she wants to put the baby to sleep. He sat down with the picture and baby in his arms. Holding a sobbing Marin tightly in one arm, he shows her the picture, “Look, Marin. Say hi to mommy! Look, see? She’s okay, Marin...mommy says that you’ve better go to sleep before she gets mad at you.”
The baby looks at the picture and slowly stops crying. Her little hands reach out. Marin had the curious baby look in her eyes. Link slowly handed the picture to her, “See, Marin? Mommy’s still here with us...she’ll be...fine.”
The baby coos, examining the picture with her hands and eyes, Link smiled lovingly at his daughter, “That’s right, that’s mommy! She loves you very much, Marin,” Link looks out the window, “so you’ve better listen to her...and sleep.”
Link stares out the window for a few more minutes, deep in thought. His heart still ached. He looks back down and sees Marin sleeping peacefully in his arms, she had her small little arms wrapped around the picture, the picture was face-up and Link saw Malon staring up at him from the picture. He loved that smile of her’s.
A tear fell onto the picture, splattering quietly on Malon’s face, Link looked out the window.
“Malon...I feel so alone.”
Princess Marin by Red Sparrow
Link glanced at the door behind him, “Your daughter, she has that Zora Sapphire I’m looking for. She’s nothing to me. But she’s the world to you, isn’t she? You see? I know exactly where to hurt you, I know you, Saria.”
“You bastard! Don’t you dare lay a hand on her!” Saria shouted angrily, “You don’t know me! We’re strangers now! We’re enemies! I refuse to believe you’re the same sweet person I knew...the same person I-”
“Loved?” Link asked, tauntingly, he received a stunned look from Saria, “Isn’t it funny? I never knew so many girls wanted me back then...It must’ve had something to do with being the hero, eh?”
“It was...more than that. A lot more...” Saria said quietly.
Link smiled, “See? I know you inside and out...oh, and as for your little ‘agents’ I know about them, too. Ivan and Vincent, right?” Saria looked away.
Link continued to play his mind games with her, “I knew from the very beginning that they had ties to the Clandestine of Dusk, I just bided my time. I know about how they’ve kidnapped my daughter Marin. I know exactly where she is ever since she escaped. Ivan didn’t suspect a thing. Puppets on string, that’s how I came to find this place. So if you want to thank someone for inviting me here, thank Vincent. He took the torture for days before he finally cracked.”
Saria looked torn. Link laughed at this, “Don’t worry about Ivan, he doesn’t know anything about that.” He looks her over carefully, “There’s something between you two, isn’t there?” Saria stares at the floor.
He laughs, realizing the truth, “What a surprise! Don’t you see? Your efforts were all for nothing!”
--Saria and Link (Shadow and Light 4: Sunlight in the Rain)
“Dammit, where is she?!” Akari said angrily. Goron City was a very huge place to get lost in. The city seemed to stretch on for miles on end. The streets were busy, full of Hylians and Gorons of all shapes and sizes, along with the occasional ‘minority species’.
Red pushed his way through the crowd towards her, he shouted, “She isn’t here!”
Akari sighed and shouted over the noise, “We’ll split up to look for her! Meet me by that shop in fifteen, got it?”
Red nods and they split up to search for Swift.
“Hey, where are we going?! Who are you?!” Swift demanded as a cloaked woman pulled her through the crowd. Swift shouted again, “I demand to know who you are!”
They finally stopped in front of an old house that was in the shape of half a sphere.
The woman turned and pulled off her hood to reveal an aging face. She was an old woman with kind eyes, “Princess Marin...it’s me, Sayre.”
Swift looked surprised. Sayre opens the door and walks inside, Swift slowly follows and shuts the door behind her.
Swift looks around the circular room. There was a table at a ‘corner’, a bed, and a small stove in the center, there was a hole in the room for the smoke to rise.
“What are you doing here, Princess?” Sayre asked. Swift suddenly bit her lower lip pointed accusingly at Sayre, “I should ask you the same thing! Weren’t you supposed to stay with daddy?! What’s happened to him? Where is he? Why are so many people after me?!” she shows Sayre her Triforce of Wisdom, “What’s so important about this thing?!”
Sayre stared at Swift for a few more moments before slowly gesturing to the table, “Please sit, Marin. I imagine that no one has told you a thing. I shall explain.”
They both sat down at the table, facing each other.
Sayre searched her mind and finally began, “Firstly, I’ll tell you why I am here.” She paused before continuing, “Six years after your kidnapping, your father became increasingly violent. Everyone who stayed with him was in immediate danger, so eventually, after a particularly frightening experience, I ran. You see, your father has become lost to his own loneliness. It’s sad, yet frightening to see how being alone for so long could affect someone this much. He’s done horrid things, Marin.”
Swift looked down at the table and said quietly, “I’ve heard...I’ve heard stories. Are they all true, then?” she looked back up at Sayre, “The stories about daddy, they were horrible ones...they all spoke of how much of a bad person he is...”
Sayre nodded, “Chances are, they’re true.” Swift shook her head and averted her gaze, “No, I refuse to believe that. I refuse to!!”
Sayre looked at Swift sadly, “Marin, there is a difference between having faith and feigning denial. You are hiding yourself in ignorance.”
“Hiding myself?” Swift muttered, “...maybe I am hiding myself from the truth, but you have no idea...no idea how horrid it is to know that you’re the daughter of a ruthless killer.”
Sayre reached over and put a hand on Swift’s, “As someone who has raised you through most of your life, I know how you act, Marin.”
Swift pulled her hand away angrily, “No! I raised myself! You only raised me while I was ‘innocent’! Do you have any idea what it’s like to be smuggled around in an iron cage?! Do you know how much pain I’ve endured?! Those kidnappers...they’ve tortured me for ten years straight! ...and they’ve enjoyed it—every second of it! You have no idea how much that changed my view of the world!” a tear fell, “Keeping it all inside...it hurts. Those scars...they’ll never go away. Sometimes I can’t sleep because whenever I drift off, I can feel that cold, hard cobblestone floor...I still sometimes feel the burning on my back. It’s felt that way for so long, they’d whip me until I fell unconscious, and I’d never know why. I never knew why they were doing this to me. I never did anything wrong. To me, it was just a matter of ‘why?’ I’ve asked, but whenever I did, they’d laugh and hurt me more...hurt me until I can't cry anymore.”
Sayre looked down, “I’m so sorry.”
Swift shook her head and wiped the stray tear away, “No. Don’t be...it wasn’t your fault. None of this was.” She looked to the table and said, “I know how loneliness feels like...but this is a different kind of loneliness. Some people feel lonely when no one else is around. I feel lonely because I can never understand the people around me.”
“Miss Sayre,” Swift began, “where has...daddy been? I thought that he was looking for me...I’ve been asking that for years now. Has he abandoned me?”
“No,” Sayre replied, “I don’t believe he has. The last I heard, he was still looking, and I bet he still is.”
“Tell me,” Swift said, “why am I here? Why talk to me in private?”
Sayre thought and finally spoke, “Marin, when I saw that Goron Ruby around your neck, I knew for sure that it was you. You’d never let go of that, it was like its apart of you. When I saw you, I knew I was meant to warn you.”
“Warn me about what?”
“Marin, you mustn’t go back to Hyrule.” Sayre answered.
Swift looked at Sayre, confused, “What do you mean? I have to go back...that’s my home...that’s where daddy is.”
“You don’t understand. It’s dangerous for you. It’s dangerous for everyone.”
“Then what am I supposed to do?!” Swift demanded. Sayre couldn’t answer this. Swift looked over Sayre carefully, “I,” Swift said softly, “have to go back. I might be the only one who can stop daddy. I have to talk to him and tell him what he is doing is wrong. I’ve heard people talk about killing him, I won’t stand for that! If they try...I’ll...I’ll fight!”
Sayre nodded slowly, “You have a good heart, Marin. But I’m afraid that in the real world, good intentions aren’t enough. The truth is your father is using you.”
“...using me...?” Swift asked, “How?”
Sayre didn’t know this, either, “I’m not sure, but it may have something to do with that Triforce you possess.”
Swift glanced down at the glowing sacred symbol, “What is this?”
“That is the Triforce of Wisdom, once wielded by the Princess, Zelda, before her passing.”
“What is so important about this?” Swift asked, “Why does everyone seem so interested in this thing?”
“They say,” Sayre began, “that when all the Triforce pieces are united, the holder will be granted one wish using the power of that sacred relic. One wish for anything their heart desires.”
There was a click at the door, Swift turned immediately and saw Ivan. Swift began to feel tense, “...Mr. Ivan...?” she turned to Sayre, “What’s going on?!” she asked nervously.
Sayre put her head down, “I’m sorry...but, I was just used to keep you here until they arrived. They threatened my life and I knew that if you were to live, then we’ll all be damned.”
Swift stood up and said sadly, “I thought I could trust you...”
Sayre didn’t respond. Swift turned to Ivan, “Why are you doing this?!”
Ivan glared, “...this began as a mission...but now, it’s become much more personal. Because of you, my cover was blown, and everyone I cared for was massacred weeks ago.”
Swift backed up against the wall, “I don’t understand...Whys this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?”
Ivan shook his head, “I feel bad for you, Princess Marin, but you must understand that we can’t afford to have you reunited with your father.”
Swift reached behind her and drew her short sword, “...No, I will never go back to the dungeons!!! I will make it home and everything will go back to the way it was before!” she lied to herself.
Ivan smiled and drew his sword, a rapier.
Swift stumbled backwards and into the wall, she slid down to her knees to catch her breath. Sayre was still watching the scene silently. Ivan twirled his rapier with one finger.
“This isn’t fair,” Swift said breathlessly, “you’re the best fencer in Hyrule!”
“I’m flattered,” Ivan responded, “if things were any different, I would’ve been glad to teach you a thing or two.”
Swift held her short sword tightly. Whatever she did, she’ll have to get in close to Ivan in order to do any good. Short weapons are much more adept at speed than longer ones, but the rapier was insanely light compared to her sword, causing her to be the one on the defensive the entire time. She never had a chance to even swing at him.
Sick of being the one on defense, she rushes forward once again, “Take this!!” she yelled and sent a stab Ivan’s way. Ivan stepped forward quickly and smacked the sword aside with his. Swift stumbled forward, off balance. She drops the sword and ducks under a stab from Ivan’s quick sword. As she rises, she grabs an arrow from her quiver and slices Ivan with the arrowhead, while rising and drawing the weapon all in one swift movement.
Blood dripped from Ivan’s cheek, but he didn’t flinch. He simply smacks Swift on the side of the head with the hilt of his rapier. Swift cupped her head and fell on one knee. She looked up and felt the needle-like point of the rapier press against her throat.
“And now, Marin, I shall finish you and prevent the plague from engulfing the world.” Ivan pulled his rapier back and prepared to thrust his sword through Swift’s head. A hand lashed out and grabbed Ivan’s wrist.
Both Ivan and Swift looked up to see who was responsible for this. It was Sayre.
“What are you doing?!” Ivan demanded. Sayre looked at Ivan gently, “There...must be another way. Couldn’t we just spare her instead? The poor girl has no idea what this is all about.”
Ivan yanked his hand back, “She’ll die in ignorance! This is better than learning the truth!”
Swift, sick of being the only one without a clue, quickly gets up and shoulder tackles Ivan. Ivan stumbled backwards, off balance. Sayre instantly let’s go and backs away to a safe distance. Swift runs right for the door.
“I can’t find her...” Red muttered. Akari walked up to him with her head down, “You couldn’t find her after all, huh?”
The crowd continued to flow around them like water. Talking amongst themselves and living their own lives, the people continued past.
Red and Akari stood there, frustrated and worried.
Akari muttered, “Dammit, it figures.”
Red looks up, “What do you mean?”
She looks at him angrily, “You should’ve kept a better eye on her!” he blinked for a moment, making sure he heard straight, “Wait, you’re blaming this on me?!”
“Who else can I be talking to?!” Akari yelled, taken over by frustration. Red retorted back quickly, “Hey, how was I supposed to know that she would wander off like that?!”
“Jeez, you are such an idiot!” Akari shouted, “I’m sick of looking after you!”
“No one’s forcing you to, you know!” Red exclaimed, “If you hate it so much, then you can leave! It’s not like I haven’t done any better since you joined up anyways!”
“What?” Akari asked, furious, “if it weren’t for me, you’d still be stupidly wandering around in circles for you entire life! You’re here because I’m the only one with enough sense to look after your sorry ass!”
“You’re not my fucking mother!” Red said.
Akari froze, her face glazed with shock. Slowly, that look turned into hatred, “Fine! Look after Miss Idiot yourself! Consider me gone!”
“Fine! Go!” Red said.
Akari turned and walked away, disappearing into the crowd.
Swift stumbled out of the house and ran, she didn’t care where she was going. She just wanted to get as far from that house as possible.
Ivan stepped out of the house and watched as his men surrounded her. Swift looked around quickly and hope quickly left her. She needed help.
“Marin, there is nowhere for you to run!” Ivan said.
She knew he was right. She needed a way to call her friends...to call Red and Akari. She had an idea. The men closed in on her, she seemed to ignore this and sheathed her sword. She then drew her bow and arrow and nocked the arrow on the bowstring. She filled the arrow with light energy.
“The Light Arrow?!” Ivan exclaimed. Swift aimed the Light Arrow upwards and fired.
Red looked up as a bright flash of light radiated against the sky of the underground Goron City. The ‘sky’ was just the ceiling of the city.
“Swift...” Red muttered, he quickly ran towards the light.
Akari turned and saw light explode in the sky. She stood there for a moment, contemplating what to do. Finally, she scoffed and turned away, walking off. She didn’t care.
Swift was in the back of a wagon; her hands were chained together along with her feet. She was silent; her head was down, her eyes closed.
They couldn’t kill her in the middle of the street, so they had to move her elsewhere. It was during this time that they discovered the Triforce of Wisdom. They needed her alive until they could extract the piece out of her. It seemed the only people who originally knew of Swift’s piece of the Triforce were Link, Red, Akari, Sayre and quite possibly...the late Saria.
They headed towards the exit, another tunnel leading out to the other side of the mountain.
Red ran through the crowd, unable to find Swift. “Dammit!” he cursed, “Swift, where are you?”
The wagon holding Swift rolled past, but Red ignored it, thinking it was just an ordinary wagon. Red walked into the opposite direction the wagon headed, unknowingly letting Swift get away.
He heard a clang and looked down to see a shuriken impaled into the ground beside his foot, there was a note attached to it, “A ninja star?” Red muttered and he knelt to pick up the star, it read: ‘She’s in the wagon.’
He glanced at the wagon and questioned the note, “...Akari?”
Another shuriken impaled itself at the same spot the first landed, Red sighed and picked it out of the ground, it read: ‘Hurry up, jackass!’
Red looked around and shouted, “Dammit, Akari I know it’s you! Why don’t you just come on out, huh?”
Another landed and he pulled the shuriken out of the ground, he examined it, it read: ‘She’s getting away, dumbfuck!’
Red drops the shuriken and sighs angrily, “Fine! Whatever!” he turns and runs after the wagon.
“He’s such a quick learner,” Akari muttered sarcastically to herself. She was standing on the roof of a house, well hidden.
Fifteen Minutes Earlier...
Akari walked on down the streets, overcome with anger caused by the argument with Red. Suddenly, she realizes something, “...Wait a minute...I’m supposed to...” Akari clenches her fists, “Oh, son of a b-“
And here she was, refusing to openly help Red find Swift because of her pride. She could never apologize to anyone.
She knew she had to collect information and report back. That meant she had to tail Red. But Swift had the Triforce of Wisdom, she couldn’t let an opportunity like that pass. She could’ve saved Swift, but that would mean losing sight of Red. If she chose to tail Red, then that would mean she’d lose sight of Swift. So she compromised. Tail Red and guide him to Swift’s location. That way, she’d have a chance to keep an eye on both.
Of course, she’d stay hidden because she was ‘supposed’ to leave Red alone. She cursed, frustrated at her own persistence to say sorry.
Swift opened her eyes and looked around. She had dozed off. Ivan was standing in front of her. They were standing inside the wagon. The wagon had ceased to move, they had arrived at their destination.
“Welcome to your temporary home, Princess.” Ivan said. He turned and stepped off the wagon as two guards forcefully dragged her outside. She didn’t struggle, she was unusually submissive.
They walked her inside a small cottage.
Everything went silent after that. Nothing moved.
Suddenly, there was a sound of movement. Then, the sound of something falling out from under the wagon echoed. Red crawled out from under the wagon, “Jeez...about time they stopped...” he muttered to himself.
He had been hanging under the wagon for hours. His arms ached and his legs went numb a long time ago.
He turned and looked at the cottage.
Swift glanced around the inside of the cottage, it was small. Everything seemed like normal. There was nothing suspicious in this room.
Swift, with two guards restraining her, watched as Ivan walked over to the fireplace. He knelt and ran his hands along the red brickwork. He stopped at a particular brick; this one had no dust on it. He pressed it in and the floor beside the fireplace splits open to reveal a stone walkway leading into darkness.
Swift began to tremble as the memories began to return, she whimpered at the prospect of being sent back into the dungeons...back into the hell she had braved throughout most of her life.
Ivan noticed. He, unlike most other captures, was someone who never enjoyed tormenting others. He tried to calm Swift down, “Marin, relax. We’re just going to keep you someplace for awhile...no one is going to hurt you.”
Swift continued to silently weep. Ivan looked at the two men holding her and nodded. They began to drag her to the entrance of the dungeons.
Suddenly, Swift sprang to life; she kicked and screamed, “No! Not again! NO!!!”
The men struggled to restrain her. Swift desperately tried to fight back, but the chains kept her from going completely out of control. Ivan noticed the men starting to lose their grip on her and did the only thing he could do.
“Make her face me.” Ivan said in an official’s voice.
After a brief moment, the men managed to barely turn Swift around. She tried to get a kick in, but felt Ivan slam his fist into her stomach instead. The force of the blow was so great that Swift went limp instantly, only managing to let out a very short yelp before falling unconscious.
Red walked into the cottage. He had peeked in through the window and hadn’t seen anyone inside, so he decided to quietly investigate.
The first thing that caught his eye was a shuriken impaled into some floor boards. He decided to pull it out, since it was obviously Akari’s handiwork. The floors gave a soft clicking sound before sliding open to reveal stairs. Red smiled and decided to keep the shuriken; he stuffed it into his satchel.
Red then proceeded to talk into the darkness.
Swift opened her eyes slowly, everything was slanting side to side, and she felt so dizzy and weak.
She couldn’t move, all she could do was breath and half open her eyes. She felt the cold hard cobblestone floor against her body. Tears began to form as she realized that she was thrust back into the depths of her own personal hell.
Her body shook as she wept in her own misery. “Why? Why does this have to happen to me? Why again? Haven’t I suffered enough? Daddy save me...Please...Why won’t you save me? Do you hate me, too? Do you hate me like everyone else?” She whispered as tears trickled to the black unforgiving cobblestone.
Red had successfully managed to sneak past the guards so far. The cottage was small, but this place was huge. It was the same size as Hyrule Castle, only underground, dark, dank, and depressing to be in.
Everywhere he saw was black cobblestone, black brick, black everything. The only thing giving out light was the torches lighting up the hallways.
The air smelt of death and cigar smoke.
He silently snuck past another guard as the guard turned the corner. Red kept his eye on this guard, making sure he doesn’t turn around before Red manages to round the corner on the opposite end of the danky hallway. While walking and looking over his shoulder, he runs into someone.
He turns quickly and sees a stunned guard.
The both of them just stared for a few moments, unable to get their bodies to respond, this was due to the shock of meeting each other, finally the guard stuttered, “I-Intrude—ack!”
Red knocks him out with a hard punch to the jaw, the guard crumpled. He quickly heard the responses of the other nearby guards. “Crap!” Red cursed and bolted away. He cover was blown.
Soon he heard whistles of alarm, then he heard barking, “Dogs?!” Red said in disbelief.
He rounded a corner and ran into a group of four guards, before the guards could respond; Red draws his sword and smacks the closest man over the side of the head with the flat of his blade, knocking the man unconscious.
The body crumpled and the others charged.
Minutes later, Red stumbled into another room, labeled 'Dungeon Entryway'.
He saw a long narrow hallway. All the way on the other side was a door, presumably leading into the dungeons. He ran forward.
An arrow flew over his head and he looked over his shoulder, still running. He saw a very large group in front of the door, the two in front held dogs by the leashes, they set the dogs loose.
“Shit!” Red exclaimed, “I am now officially a cat lover!”
He doubled his speed, but the dogs were faster, the other soldiers ran into the hallway, swords drawn.
A black sphere flies out of the ceiling and hits the ground right in front of the dogs, a hiss of smoke flows out and the dogs stumble and fall, sleeping. Red stopped and turned towards the sleeping dogs as Akari landed in front of him.
Without looking at him, she said, “You go on and save Swift; I’ll hold them off as long as I can!”
“But-” Red began, but Akari shouted the order, “Go, now!!!”
Red hesitated. Then he nodded slowly, he said softly, “Stay alive.” Akari nodded. Red then turned and ran towards the door. He reached for knob and heard a shout. He turned back around as Akari threw a pair of shurikens into the crowd, impaling two guards in the head.
He opened the door and stepped in; he turned to look at Akari once more, but couldn’t see anything. She had used another smoke grenade.
Red saw something part the smoke, then his eyes widened as he realized what they were. At least seven arrows ripped their way out of the smoke and headed right for him. He quickly shut the door as the arrows plowed through the wooden frame. Red stumbled back; he regained himself and looked at the blood soaked arrowheads. The blood must’ve been Akari’s.
“...Akari.” Red whispered, he backed away from the door and turned. What he saw was a blade flying towards him. Everything went white and slowly faded into shadow...
Scarlet Ambitions by Red Sparrow
“...Loneliness...I’ve seen it before...true loneliness. It does horrible things to people...It makes them sick. They have no one to talk to...no one to look forward to seeing. Being forced to keep everything inside...it drives people crazy. So please...please don’t do that to me...don’t leave me alone...I don’t want to get sick...I want someone to be with, someone to look forward to seeing, someone to talk to...Don’t leave me all alone...not now, not ever. To me, being alone is worse then death. Don’t walk away...don’t leave.”
“...You’re awake...” Ivan’s voice sounded. Red opened his eyes slowly; he was lying on his side. He heard footsteps; he couldn’t quite distinguish where he was, it was way too dark. He felt the wet cobblestone against his side.
He struggled and managed to sit up. The first thing he noticed was his arms. His right arm was free, but his left was chained behind his back. He could stand.
Red stood up and looked around, “...Where am I?” he asked to himself and whoever else could hear.
Ivan spoke from beyond the darkness, “You are in the lower levels of the dungeons. Do not worry, Marin is there with you.”
“Who are you?” Red asked the darkness.
Ivan introduced himself, “My name is Ivan.”
“What do you want? Why don’t you show yourself?” Red demanded.
“As you wish...” Ivan replied. The torches all lit up simultaneously, blasting light through the darkness and illuminating the room in an eerie orange glow. Red shielded his eyes from the sudden light.
Slowly, his eyes adjusted, Red looked ahead and found Swift chained to the wall, her head was down. Red couldn’t tell if she was still alive.
“She’s alive, don’t worry.” Ivan’s voice came from above.
Red quickly looked up and saw Ivan. Ivan was standing on a large platform held up by chains. There was a single guard with him.
Finally, the platform landed on the floor with a loud clang.
Red noticed that the platform had a large stand built near the end of it. The stand had various forms of short and quick swords mounted on the frame. From this, Red could guess one thing about Ivan. He was a collector.
Red stood at the ready, “What do you want with us?”
Ivan stepped off the platform, the guard stayed. He pointed at Swift, “She is here because she needs to be eliminated.” He points to Red, “You are here because I have an offer for you.”
“And if I refuse?” Red asked, already knowing the answer.
“It’ll be a shame to lose a fine swordsman such as yourself.” Ivan replied.
“Leave her out of this,” Red said, “she doesn’t know anything.”
“And you do?” Ivan questioned. Red went silent. Ivan shook his head in disappointment, “Use your head. You shouldn’t needlessly throw your life away for something you can’t completely comprehend. Life is too precious for that.”
“Why do you want to kill her so much? What did she do to you?” Red asked. He was intent on finding out the truth. Ivan strolled around Red, thinking to himself, “It isn’t what she did...it’s what she could do.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Red demanded.
“If that girl were to live, then the world is doomed.” Ivan replied, “It’s as simple as that.”
Ivan continued to circle Red, “Nonetheless, I have a proposition for you. Join us. Help us take down the one responsible for this entire mess.”
“And just who is that?” Red inquired.
Red’s eyes lit up in surprise, “...Link?”
“I see you’ve heard of him.”
“If I were to join...what would happen to her?” Red looked at Swift.
“Either way, she dies.” Ivan answered.
Red went silent, the choice was obvious, “I apologize then, I’ll have to respectfully decline. As much as I hate Link, I’m here on a rescue mission, and I promised someone I wouldn’t fail.” He said, thinking back to Akari.
“Don’t be a fool!” Ivan shouted, “You’re willing to jeopardy millions of souls for the sake of one?!” he glared, “Wake up, dammit! This is the real world! You can’t gain anything without losing something...it’s the law. You don’t realize what you’re doing.”
“I’m saving a friend, that’s what I’m doing. And you don’t have to worry about Link,” Red added, “I’ll take care of him as well.”
“You’re just like everyone else...hell-bent for revenge and not caring for anything else. You’re powered by greed...that’s what it is.” Ivan said coldly.
“And just who do you think you are? I know for a fact that you’re doing this for yourself.” Red countered.
Ivan nodded, lamenting, “...That’s right. It’s like I said before...you’re like everyone else—including I. I won’t lie...I may be doing this for revenge, but I’m willing to lay down my life for the sake of the world. For the sake of this corrupted world of ours. That’s what this is all about. In the end, it’s vengeance. What keeps me going is the hope that vengeance and indignation will go hand in hand. I can tell that you feel the same way.” He circles around Red, interrogating him, “You journey only for yourself. You are fueled by hatred and wish to kill. But you know you can’t do that without sounding evil...so you use ‘destiny’ and ‘righteousness’ as an excuse. You kill because you think you’re a hero...right? Nothing gives you the right...you’re still a murderer. Don’t forget that. Each villain you slaughter is still a living being. Heroes are just praised killers.”
“You’re wrong!” Red shouted. He quickly regained himself; he had lost control for a moment. Ivan shook his head, “Am I?”
Red became lost for words. Ivan was wrong, wasn’t he?
“Looking back on it...I know what Link must’ve discovered. There is no such thing as a hero.” Ivan stopped and waited for a reply.
Red wore a deadly look, “...I don’t know what to think anymore, but I do know one thing. I’m going to save my friends, and I’m going to do it not because I’m a hero, but because it’s what I chose to do. This is my choice; and mine alone. I don’t give a damn about being a hero...I don’t care if I’m a villain, I’m going to do what I think is right and see it through to the end. And if you want to try to stop me, then that’s your choice. But know that, like all choices, there is always a consequence. If you choose to try to strike me down, I’ll fight back.”
Ivan stared at him and said something that made Red’s blood run cold, “...You sound exactly like Link.”
Red remained silent. Ivan let out a little laugh of victory, “Do you know what you are? You’re an idealist.” He glances at the guard and nods. The guard turns away to pick out some weapons from the stand. He turns back around and tosses Ivan two rapiers. Ivan twirls both, “Here’s what will happen. This will be a battle of ideals...” he tosses Red a rapier.
Red catches it with his only workable hand, Red looks back up to Ivan. Ivan walks towards Red, his rapier was raised, “We will duel for the girl’s life. If I win, you both will die and the world is saved thanks to me. If you win...you can do what you wish to her, but in doing so, the world is now your responsibility. Can you really say you can take that much pressure? If you win, you will experience all the pressure and pain that constantly assaults Link while he was still considered a ‘hero’. Whether or not you crack, will be up to you, Hero.”
“Are you willing to accept this?” Ivan asked a final time as he stood at the ready.
Red matched his stance and said without a second thought, “I am.” his black half-heart pendent shone in the light
“Alright then, may the goddesses watch over the victor and help guide this world out of shadow, En Guarde!” Ivan said.
Red nodded, matching Ivan’s fighting stance, “En Guarde.”
“Who the hell?!” a guard said as he backed up from a lone figure. He was in a hallway far from the area of Red and Ivan’s clash.
“Who the hell are you?!” he demanded. The figure stepped into the faint torchlight, revealing the same blond haired fifteen year old girl, “I am Sakura, the Angel of the Edict. You, along with your comrades have sinned. I declare thee unfit for this world. Willst thou graciously accept thy punishment?”
The guard backed up. Sakura raised her revolver, no emotion showed on her face, her white half-heart pendent shone in the faint light, “I bid thee farewell.” A gunshot echoes.
Change of ID by Red Sparrow
“Change of ID”
Ivan lunged again at a battered and cut up Red. Red fell back and regained his footing. They were both breathing heavily.
“You’re pretty good,” Ivan said. Red smirked, Ivan added, “but not good enough.” Red’s smirk faded quickly.
“Red...?” Swift’s voice sounded, catching everyone’s attention. They both turned towards her. She looked up warily; a dazed look was glazed over her face. She looked like she was only half-conscious. “You...save...” she tilted her head back down.
Red knew she had faded back into unconsciousness. “Don’t let your guard down!” Ivan yelled out. Red turned quickly and quickly parried a stab. He follows it up with his own stab. Ivan simply steps back out of reach, “Amateur! I can read your every move!”
Red knew he had to try something different, he wasn’t going to get anywhere with just stabs and blind swings.
After minutes of parrying and fighting, both grew tired. Red knew this was his chance; this was a chance to play things his way. Red rushes forward and pretends to go for a predictable stab. Ivan falls for it and begins a block. Red then swings his rapier hard downward, he bounces the tip off the ground and back up, smacking a surprised Ivan on the lower jaw, Red rushes again and head-butts Ivan in the forehead.
Ivan falls back, “How dare you!” he yells, furious, “If that’s how you plan to play...”
He raises his free hand over his head and the guard on the podium tosses him a second rapier. Red smirks.
Ivan rushes forward; each swing Ivan made was countered by Red. Ivan was furious; Red was literally beating him with one hand tied behind his back.
Ivan stumbles backwards, “How is this possible?” Red smiles, “Your mind is somewhere else, you’re not concentrating like you were in the beginning. 'Amateur! I can read your every move!'”
“You dare to mock me?!” Ivan shouts over his shoulder, “Guard! Come here and we’ll take him on together!”
The guard nodded and grabbed a two handed sword, he leapt off the platform and stood beside Ivan. Red knew he was in trouble this time. His hand was chained behind his back, his right arm was tired and he now had to worry about two people.
Ivan and the guard charged. Red was ready for them.
Ivan was careless this time; he was overconfident at the fact that this was a handicapped two on one fight. Red dodged every attack thrown at him with elegance. Ivan glanced at Red’s left hand, the one that was chained and useless.
Ivan sent a stab there, Red sees this and manages to move his body and catches the sword by wrapping the chain around it. Ivan struggles. Red smirks and tightens the chains, he sees the guard run towards them. Red yanks the rapier free from Ivan’s grasp and tosses the rapier over his head, Red tilts his head up and catches it with his mouth. He turned at the guard.
Red was now duel-wielding with two rapiers, one in his right hand and the other held by his teeth. He turns his head, and jams the needle-like sword into the guard’s chest. The guard froze; his own sword was still raised over his head.
Red opens his mouth and let go of the rapier. The guard grunted, with his last strength he brought the sword down, intending the slice Red in two. Red turns his back on the guard and smirks as he steps forward, allowing the guard to accidentally cut his chains instead.
Red yanked his left hand free of the chains as the guard stumbled forward and fell.
Ivan glared, “Damn you!” he runs forward. Red reaches into his satchel with his left hand, draws Akari’s shuriken and throws it at Ivan. Ivan skids to a stop, but it was too late, the ninja star slams into his forehead and he falls without another sound.
Red let out a sigh of relief. He turns to Swift, who was chained to the wall. He runs towards her.
Red glanced at the chains and sighs angrily, he didn’t have a key. Swift moved her head up and looked at him wearily, “...You came for me...”
Red smiled, “That’s what friends are for, right?”
Swift smiled faintly and nodded, “...right!”
“I’ll get you out of here; I just need a key or something...” Red said.
Swift’s eyes widened and she yelled, “Red!”
Red turned and saw Ivan stumbling towards him. Ivan still had the shuriken impaled into his head. Red grimaced at the bloodied sight. “I,” Ivan began, “I won’t die...I can’t die yet. I still...have a promise to keep...”
“Promise...?” Red questioned.
Ivan glared from under all the blood running down his face. He drew a knife and stumbled faster towards Red.
Red caught the swing of the knife by the wrist. Ivan struggled, “...I promised her...”
“...Who?” Red asked.
Suddenly, a gunshot erupts from the darkness, and the back of Ivan’s head explodes, Red freezes in cold shock. Swift gasps and looks away. Some of the blood managed to splatter onto Red’s face.
Ivan whispered, “...Saria...” he fell forward and dies by Red’s feet. Upon hearing Saria's name, both Red and Swift gave a look of surprise.
Red looks up immediately, “Who’s there?! Show yourself!”
His eyes scan the darkness for the source of Ivan’s death. There was another click, this sound brought back so many memories, “...Grandpa Trent?”
Four gunshots echoed and the four chains holding Swift’s arms and legs exploded, freeing her. She falls forward and steadies herself.
Swift looked around quickly, just as confused as Red.
Red shouted into the dark, “Who are you?!”
There was no response.
Whatever it was, it was gone now. Swift and Red looked at each other and silently agree to get out of that place as quickly as possible.
Red and Swift walk out of the cottage and stopped by the wagon, Red leans back against the wagon while Swift stretches her legs.
After a quick moment of silence, she asks something that was troubling her, “...Who was that back there?”
Red looked up at her, “I don’t really know...”
“Oh...” Swift looked back down. She was fighting the urge to delve deeper into the subject, but at the sound of Red’s voice, she knew better. She looked back up and asked slowly, “...Where’s Akari?”
“Akari?” Red began. He didn’t know how to explain Akari’s death to Swift.
“Well,” Red stammered, “She’s...”
“...waiting for ya.” Akari said, sitting on wagon’s driver seat. Red blinked, “...WHAT?!!”
Akari hopped off of the seat and landed on the ground lightly. She laughed herself, “Do you really think I’d get killed off that easily?”
Swift’s eyes light up and she hugs Akari, “You’re alive!! I missed you!”
Akari struggles, but to no avail, “Get...off...dammit!!!”
Swift finally lets go after nearly strangling Akari with her vice-grip of a hug. Akari straightens up and points at the wagon’s cargo area, “I picked up your stuff.”
Red finally realized that in his hurry to rescue Swift, he had forgotten their stuff at the inn in Goron City.
Swift runs to the wagon’s cargo and picks up her and Red’s bags, she tosses Red his, “Wow, Akari, you’re so cool! Where would we be without you?” Swift said.
“Probably dead or something,” Akari said. She liked the irony of it, too. “Anyways, we should get going now.”
“Why?” Red asked, he was tired and wanted a rest.
Akari looked at Red as if he were stupid, it was the look she usually gave him, “I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that theres a large group of people looking to kill us?” she said, brimming with her now trademark sarcasm.
Red sighs, “Why can’t you just lighten up a bit? You’re always cussing, it’s getting annoying.”
Akari thought about remarking in a very insulting way, but decided against it. She didn’t want another fight with Red, so she said slowly, “...Alright. I’ll tone it down a notch. Can we get going now?”
The group went silent.
Akari raised a brow, “...What?”
Swift spoke up, “Well...usually, you’re always so mean to Red, this is the first time you agreed with him.”
Akari shook her head and began to walk, “I’m just not in the mood. Just wait till tomorrow.”
The other two followed. Swift kept her head down and stayed silent. This bothered the others. She was usually the talkative one of the group. It wasn’t like her to be down like this.
“Swift?” Akari asked. Swift looked up quickly and said, “Marin. Call me Marin.”
Red cut in, “Isn’t that kind of dangerous? Someone might recognize your name and report you.”
Marin shook her head, “No. Don’t worry about it...I’m tired of hiding myself. Plus...I miss being called by that name. So, can you both please call me ‘Marin’ from now on?”
Red thought about this and, despite his unnerving feelings, nodded, “Alright.”
Akari shook her head, “As someone with a brain, I think it’s a stupid and dangerous idea. But,” she sighed “as a friend...I think its better for you this way.”
Marin smiled, “...Thanks—I think.”
After a mile of walking, Red asked something as they walked into the sunset, “...Why are we walking? There was a wagon at the cottage, remember?”
After another moment or two, Akari’s voice rings out, “...FUCK!!!”
Kohilint Island by Red Sparrow
“So this is Kohilint Island...Funny, I thought it didn’t really exist.” Red pondered aloud. The trio stepped off the boat and walked along the docks, they each carried their belongings in packs worn over their backs or slung over their shoulders. Several fishermen were unloading their cargo; they yelled orders out to each other. This place wasn’t a tropical paradise, it was industrialized. Seagulls cried out in the sky as the rays of the sun shone down on the beach.
“This isn’t the Kohilint Island of legend.” Akari answered, “It’s simply named after it. Even though the real Kohilint Island is only a myth, naming this stink hole of an island after it is an insult.”
“So,” Marin began, “Why are we here?”
Red looked at her and replied before Akari had a chance to ‘answer’, “The oceans a big place, we had to stop here since we needed to save some money. The trip costs a lot and we didn’t have enough for a full trip. We decided to come to this island and get some money first.”
“Oh.” Marin said, “How come I never heard this?”
“Cause,” Akari began, “you were busy playing with those stupid seagulls.”
“Don’t call them stupid.” Marin said with a serious tone, “In Hyrule, seagulls are considered sacred because of their rarity and are known for their purity.”
“Pure?” Akari scoffs, “Seagulls eat garbage and...”
Red shot her a look and she stops. She glances at Marin. Marin was walking and staring ahead, her fists were clenched.
They stopped when they had entered the busier part of the island. This place was huge and bustling with activity. There was a network of streets and chains of seemingly hundreds of stores and businesses. “Well,” Red began, “looks like we’ll have a good time looking for a job.”
Akari shoots him a look, “I hope that’s sarcasm.”
The trio walked down one of the bustling streets, “We should find a place to stay first.” Akari said as they ended up in a less busy street. There were less people, but still quite a lot.
“If we pool our money together, I bet we’ll be able to find a room at an inn or something.” Red said.
“We’re only going to stay here for a few days, I’m not sure we have enough for more than a week’s stay.” Akari said.
“Let me do it.” Marin cut in.
The others looked at her. Marin reiterated herself, “Let me find us an inn, you guys can cruise around for a job. Just give me the money and I’ll find us a good place.”
“Have you been here before? Do you know a good place?” Red asked.
Marin shook her head, “No, but I noticed a nice cheap place. It’s called the Stock Pot Inn.”
Red looked to Akari. She shook her head at Marin, “No. You expect us to trust you with our money?”
“Relax,” Marin said, “you can trust me.”
The group stopped and waited for Akari’s reply. After a time, Akari nodded, “Fine, we’ll give you half our money, and you can work with that, get us that room. Afterwards, go job hunting, we’ll meet in the plaza at around seven.”
Marin glances up at a clock tower in the backdrop, “So, that’s about five hours, ok!”
The group did the little transaction and splits up. “So,” Red began, “I don’t think we know much about you...”
Akari glanced at him as they turned a corner, “Your point is?”
“Well,” Red began as they walked, “where are you from?”
Akari examined Red carefully and spoke, “I’m...” she trailed off and finally continued, “I’m from Windfall.”
“Windfall?” Red asked. Akari nodded, talking and keeping an eye out for a good place to find some cash, “Yeah. It’s a nice quiet place. When the sun is out it’s never too hot. The only problem was the rain, it’d rain so much, but no one really minded that. I remember one time, when I was little...I used to be afraid of the lightening and thunder,” she laughs quietly to herself, delving in memories, “whenever that’d happen, I got to sleep with my parents. It was so nice, and I liked that feeling, I felt really safe with them. So, in a way...even though I’m afraid of the thunder...I wish it’d come by every so often so I can have an excuse to sleep with my parents. My dad always made these snoring sounds that were really funny. Mom and I used to laugh quietly with each other while we listened...” she smiled. Slowly she realized something and her mood changes back to before, “Anyway, it doesn’t matter. We should just concentrate on the here and now, and right now, we need a job.”
Marin stepped into the place known as the Stock Pot Inn. She glanced around and walked over to the counter.
The woman at the counter bowed and said, “Welcome to the Stock Pot Inn, would you like to make a reservation.”
Marin smiled, “Yes, uhm...what can I get with this much?” she pulled out the rupees and placed them on the counter. The woman glanced at the rupees and counted quickly, “That’d be just about enough for a one room sweep.”
“Oh...” Marin said, sounding disappointed.
The woman thought for a moment before replying, “Well, lucky for you, we have a special ‘couples’ sweep open. You can get that for half the original price, it also comes with room service. It has one king sized bed. Right now, it has three rooms, the restroom, the bedroom and the living room. And for a little extra, we’ll throw in a special remodeling of the bedroom.”
“Remodeling?” Marin questioned. The women nodded, giving Marin a strange look, “Yes, let’s just say that it comes with ‘the works’. You know, candles, roses...”
“Can I check it first?” Marin asked, she had another idea for what that room could be useful for. The woman smiled, “Of course, please follow me.”
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!” Akari shouted as she stormed out of the photo room, she threw a pair of bunny ears over her shoulder angrily.
Red was sitting in the waiting room when he heard some commotion. A short while ago, they had found a place for photos. It had a sign posted, it read: 'Looking for beautiful, young women. 500 Rupees per picture'.
A man with a bandage on his left cheek stumbled out after her, “Don’t go! We’ll pay you double!”
Akari turned and smacked the man upside the head, “What kind of business do you run here?! I refuse to dive into your sick fantasies!”
Red, sensing trouble, walks up to the two, “What’s up?”
Akari shoots Red a look and shakes her head, “We’re leaving.” Red blinked, “What? Why?”
Akari stormed out, “Never mind that, let’s just go!” she begins to walk as the man grabs her hand and says defiantly, “You can’t leave! You signed a contract! You’re mine for twenty four hours!” he holds out the contract for the both of them to see.
Akari turns quickly
The last image that man saw was the contract, a fist breaking through the paper, and then everything goes black.
“You know,” Red said as they walked down the streets, “You didn’t really have to knock the poor guy out.”
“He had it coming,” Akari said, “believe me, he did.”
“So,” Marin said, as they met up in the plaza, “find a job?”
“Well...” Akari began, but Red interrupts, “No, she kept punching out the employers.”
“This place is full of stupid lonely perverts, that’s all.” Akari answered, “Anyway, did you manage to at least get us a room?”
“Yeah!” Marin said, “I got one for a real cheap price! I even talked them into getting us an extra bed!”
“Extra bed?” Red questioned. “You’ll see!” Marin said as she led them towards the inn.
As they entered the Stock Pot Inn, the first thing Red noticed was everyone staring and glancing at them. Akari noticed also, “...What’s wrong with everyone?”
Marin kind of knew, but decided not to say anything that could anger them, “Oh, don’t worry, they’re just...saying ‘hi’.”
A man watched as Red walked upstairs with Akari and Marin, he muttered, “Lucky bastard.”
They stopped at a room on the third floor at the end of the hall. Marin pulled out some keys and opened the door. The first thing Akari and Red noticed as they stepped inside after Marin was the living room...which was also the kitchen, “Isn’t this place sort of...small?” Red asked slowly.
There was also a small bed in the living room/kitchen, just big enough for one person.
“Don’t worry, theres another room.” Marin said and she points to the kitchen. There was a door inside it, by the stove, “That’s the bathroom.”
“Where are the bedrooms?” Akari asked, growing more discouraged.
Marin lead them to a door between the living room’s bed and the kitchen, she opened the door, “Ta-da!”
Red and Akari’s jaws drop, "Oh hell..." Akari muttered.
Delve Into Memories by Red Sparrow
“Delve Into Memories”
“No wonder people were staring...” Red muttered. Akari struggled for words as they stared.
The bedroom had roses littered on the pink rug, the wallpaper was a hot red. The bed was silky, also red. There were candles littered in various places to keep the atmosphere. Over the bed was a mirror about the same size the bed. It had a very distinct purpose for being there.
Akari finally managed to form a complete sentence, “...What...the...hell...is...wrong with you?! We can’t sleep in here! Do you realize what this room is for?!”
Marin blinked, “Oh, well...yeah, but that’s not why I got it. You see, we didn’t really have enough, so I struck a deal and told them that you and I are Red’s girlfriends...they added a bed, too.”
“Me?” Akari said, she points to Red, “With him?!”
Red blinked, “Wait a minute, what’s wrong with me?” he asked.
Akari shouted, “Everything!”
“I’d rather sleep in the ‘normal’ bed in the living room!” Akari said as she slipped out of the bedroom and into the kitchen/living room.
“Okay!” Marin said, she was happy to have the room all to herself. Red raised a brow, “What about me?”
“Oh,” Marin began, “I’m sure you and Akari will work something out.”
Marin began to push him out of the doorway, “But...” Red began, but was interrupted as Marin shut the door in his face.
Red sighed, “Sometimes I feel like extra luggage.”
Many minutes later, Red had a sleeping bag ready on the floor. He was lying down on the side of the bed with both feet touching the floor. He was staring at the ceiling. He was wearing a different set of clothes, one that’s a bit more casual than his usual travel clothes. He wore a t-shirt and shorts.
He and Marin had taken a shower first, now was Akari’s turn.
He hadn’t heard a word from Marin after she left the bathroom and went into her room. It was...odd in a way.
The bedroom door was shut tightly and locked. There was a chair that lay against the door, nudging itself against the door knob. It was obvious that Marin didn’t want anyone entering the room without notice.
The candles were all blown out except for one beside the bed. On the bed, Marin lay, she was staring up at the mirror with a faint smile on her face, “Hey, daddy...did you miss me?” she asked the mirror.
A voice responded, it was her father’s, “Of course, honey. It’s been four months since you last contacted me, I was worried.”
“I’m sorry,” Marin said, “the mirror was broken, so I had nothing to channel the spell through.”
“I see you’ve managed anyways,” her father replied, “I’m proud of you. By the way, where are you?”
“We’re on Kohilint Island!” Marin said with a smile, “I’m getting closer and closer to seeing you again, daddy! I want you to meet my friends!”
“Don’t worry, Marin. I’ll meet them in person; I think it’ll be a big surprise for them.” Her father said, a bit of humor in his voice, “Remember not to tell them about me. Not quite yet.”
“Alright, daddy,” Marin said, “I promise.”
There was a short pause, “It’s getting late,” her father said, “You should go to bed.”
Marin nodded, pulling the covers over herself, “Okay, I’ll talk to you again later, I promise. Good night.”
“Good night, Marin.” Spoke her father, his image was on the mirror, he had blond hair and red eyes, he was Link.
Marin leaned to the side of the bed and blew the candle out as Link’s image disappeared from the mirror’s surface.
“What are you doing on my bed?” Akari asked as she shut the bathroom door. Red sat up, “I was just...staring at the ceiling.”
“Having fun?” Akari asked.
Red sighs, “You know, I think we’d get along better if you’d lighten up a bit. Am I really that bad?”
Akari crawled onto the bed and sat beside him, “Well, you’re not totally horrible to be with. I don’t know...I guess I tend to get irritated easily, I suppose.”
“Oh.” was Red’s response.
Akari looked at him for a moment; perhaps she was a little too hard on him. Most of the time, she realized, he didn’t really deserve to be insulted. “I’ll tell you what,” she began, “I’ll try to lighten up a bit, okay?”
Red nodded, happy to at least get somewhere with Akari, “Okay.” He said.
Akari pointed to the floor where the sleeping bag was, “Now get off my bed. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow.”
Red got up and got inside his sleeping bag. Akari pulled the covers over herself and turned out the lights. Covered in darkness, Akari reached over into the counter beside the bed and pulled out a small switchblade. She slid the unopened switchblade under her pillow.
After a few seconds, Red asked, “You still awake?”
Akari replied with a hint of frustration, “It’s only been a minute, what do you think?”
Red went quiet for a moment before saying, “Sorry. It’s just that...it’s weird sleeping inside for once. You know? I’m so used to sleeping outside with the moon in the sky and everything.”
There was silence before Akari answered, “...I guess. I think I know what you mean. It’s nice to sleep in a bed every once in a while.”
“Speak for yourself.” Red muttered.
Akari quietly laughed, “Sorry, I guess I’m just rubbing it in, huh?” she turned to her side and slid to the side of her bed, looking down on Red, “I remember...” she said.
“Remember what?” Red asked.
She tucked an arm under her pillow and rested her head on it, looking down at Red, her mind was elsewhere, “I remember when I was little I liked to go camping. Back then, any reason I got to stay up and out of bed was a good enough reason for me.”
She smiled, “Me and my parents would go camping once a year, that’s what made it special. It’s like a tradition, I guess. We never really strayed too far from the village. It was just far enough so no one would bother us, but close enough so that we could still see town. I remember one time, I had a pet squirrel, and she was so cute, at least, I think it was a she. I named her Whiskers since she would do this funny thing with her nose whenever she smelt food, she’d wiggle it around and it’d tickle if you held it against your face. I had always wanted a pet, like a dog or something, but my parents wouldn’t let me keep one. So in a way, this squirrel was my replacement. I even made a collar for her out of leaves and a piece of string. I walked her around the campsite. Sometimes I’d feed her nuts, but other times it’d be marshmallows.”
She paused, “I remember when Whiskers got into the bag of marshmallows. We couldn’t find her, though...I’m pretty sure that I was the only one really looking, my parents were just pretending to care. I could tell, too. They were only checking under the same rocks every few minutes and talking with each other the rest of the time.”
She thought for a moment and continued, “Afterwards, I was really sad and started crying, my mom tried to calm me down. She offered me a marshmallow and reached into the bag, that's when Whiskers came running out of the bag covered in the white sticky melted stuff. My mom freaked out and fell on her back; I remember that because it was the most fun I've had. I was laughing all crazy and stuff.” She glanced at Red.
Red was sleeping. She frowned. She wore an angry look and grabbed her pillow, she threw it at Red, bringing him wide awake. He sat up quickly, looking around in alarm.
Akari said angrily, “I’m trying to tell a story, dammit! You should at least listen!”
Red blinked, still half asleep, “Oh, uhm...sorry...I’ll...just...” he laid his head back on the pillow and quickly fell back asleep.
Akari sighed. She leaned herself off the side of the bed and recovered her flung pillow from the floor beside him. She set it back on the bed and rested her head on it, she muttered, “Jerk.”
Red opened his eyes slowly. He felt...odd.
Instead of seeing the ceiling of the Stock Pot Inn, he saw a clear blue sky. Not a single cloud was in the sky, he also saw the sun, which blinded him. He shielded his eyes and sat up. He glanced around, completely confused.
Around him was a field that seemed to stretch around infinitely. He saw the faint tip of a farm in the distance.
The thing that stood out the most was the large castle in front of him. The drawbridge was down, allowing him access to the entrance.
He stood up and brushed the dirt off of himself. He muttered in astonishment, as he walked across the bridge, “...where am I?”
He saw two guards examining him closely. He glanced at himself, he was wearing a green tunic and had no weapons equipped.
The guards nodded at him and let him pass into the marketplace. This place was bustling with activity, people were in their little groups, exchanging gossip and buying items from the venders spread throughout.
As people passed him, he was greeted warmly by everyone. Not wanting to anger anyone before he had any grasp on the situation, he played along and shook hands when offered.
He didn’t have to push his way through the crowd, either. The crowd instinctively cleared a path for him and continued on with their lives. Red went along with this also. He turned to his left and saw a little floating ball. It was a fairy.
The fairy didn’t speak, but it floated around him in a way that indicated that it wanted to be followed. “Alright, lead me...” Red said, unsure of what else to expect.
Sure enough, the fairy led him towards the castle. It stopped at the gates, waiting for him to catch up. He stopped at the barred gate, “...Now what?” he asked the fairy. The fairy didn’t respond, instead a guard on the other side of the gate spoke, “Ah, Good afternoon, sir! Are you going to see the Princess again?”
Without giving Red a chance to reply, the guard continued with a smile, “Of course you are! You’re never here for anything else!” the guard said. He glanced around and opened the gate. He gestured Red over.
Red trotted over to the guard, the guard looked around and smiled, “I got the package, sir.”
“Package?” Red asked.
The guard nodded, “Stay here, I’ll be right back.” He walked into the gate’s lookout entry. He appeared shortly afterward, with a small box. Red received the box and looked at the guard, “It’s exactly as you wanted. Go get her, sir.” Red opened the box and saw a silver ring, engraved onto it were the words, ‘Forever Your Hero’.
“’Forever Your Hero...’” he muttered as he walked through the castle garden, following the ever silent fairy.
Finally, something clicked in his mind and he realized the truth. “...This is...” suddenly, everything went white as he felt himself teleported by some outside force.
He appeared inside the castle, in front of a door. He knew he was meant to enter. He tried the door and found it to be unlocked, he opened it. Inside, he saw a princess, wearing Hylian Royal attire, she had blond hair. The Princess’s back was to him, she was staring out the window, as if in some sort of trance, “Come in.” she said.
He glanced at the box in his hand, at the same time; he realized that he was in his normal clothes again, instead of the green tunic. The fairy flew past him and hovered in front of the princess. The princess spoke, “Thank you, Navi.”
The fairy bowed and faded into nothingness. He stepped into the room, the door behind him shut.
The bedroom was like any other royal room; it was richly decorated and had a large jewelry box. She turned around, revealing her visage. She had gentle blue eyes and a friendly smile. Her two front bangs were braided nicely. She introduced herself, “Welcome, Red. I am Princess Zelda. It’s nice to finally be able to talk to you.”
She raised her left hand, revealing the same silver ring, “Is that ring a gift for me?” she glanced at the box Red was holding, the box that carried the exact same ring, “I’m sorry, but I already have one of those.” She winked.
Spread Thy Wings by Red Sparrow
“I’ve followed you, daddy, and this is where you’ve led me. This isn’t the ending I wanted! This isn’t the place you promised me! This is all wrong! This isn’t what anyone wanted...”
“Spread Thy Wings”
Red stood there, shocked, confused and everything in the middle. Zelda smiled, understanding his lack of response, “I guess I have a bit of explaining to do, right?”
Red pointed at her and then pointed everywhere else, “You can’t be Zelda! She’s dead! Where am I?! Who are you?! Am I dreaming?! Is this real?! Am I going nuts?!”
Before Red could babble on anymore, Zelda walks over and smacks him upside the head, “Calm down.”
He looked at her and stopped, “...Thanks, I needed that.” She smiled, “No problem, I’ve seen what Akari’s done to you and that smack was nothing compared to what she usually does.” She thinks, “She’s such a violent girl.”
She looks at him and says, “As for you’re questions, I’m really her. I’m not dead. You’re in Hyrule. I’m Zelda. You’re not dreaming. Kinda. No, luckily you’re pretty sane.”
He just stared at her, “Then...if you aren’t dead...what happened to you all those years ago? Why are you hiding now?”
She didn’t have to think, it was as if she had planned everything out, “Come.” She said and sat down on her bed. She pointed to a chair in front of the bed, “You might want to sit for this, because it’s really confusing.”
Red did what he was told. He pulled up the chair and sat down slowly, looking at her. Zelda closed her eyes; she took a few breaths and muttered quietly so that only she could hear, “Alright...calm down...”
“I’m not dead,” she began, “but I’m not alive, either. I’m not a ghost...I’m simply a consciousness. Somehow, my mind has been sucked into this ring.”
Red thought this over, “...you’re a consciousness?”
Zelda nodded, “Yes. At the time I was supposed to die, I had a strong connection to this ring...” she paused before continuing, “And...I made some stupid mistakes, also.”
She looked up at him, “You see, a few nights before my murder, I was to wed with Prince Derek of Aria.”
Red cut in, “I know about this, Saria told me. You and Link had some trouble, right?”
She looked at him and shook her head, “It’s amazing how things are passed down. The words and details about the events of the past can be recorded perfectly, but the one thing that won’t be possible to pass on...are the emotions of that time. It’s not that bland, Red. You’d have to be there to truly understand, this is something history forgets; the emotions of the people involved.”
“I did something horrible,” Zelda said, “And because of that...” she looks around, “I’m trapped here...for all eternity.”
“What did you do?” Red asked. Zelda didn’t want to answer this, she knew she probably won’t be able to stay casual, but she blamed herself for that one, she had backed herself up into a corner. She thought for a moment before saying, “...I’ve never told anyone about this,” she laughs thinking about her words, “not that I had a chance anyway...”
She looked at him, “The thing I did was...I broke Link’s heart. I did it without realizing what I was truly doing.” She sighed sadly, “I was such a stupid girl back then. I couldn’t see it.” She looked at the floor, “I guess you know that Link and I were once a couple. And you also know about Derek and how it turned out. What you may not know is that I planned to run away from that. I wanted to run away from my duties as a princess because I was so damn greedy.”
“I,” she began softly, this was the first time in a long while she had someone to talk to, it was also the first time she had told anyone this, “I was so close to leaving, too. I wanted to run away from Hyrule and stay with Link so we can be together without any stupid rules of the sort. I hate politics...I hate it all. I hated myself because I was a living symbol of politics.” She went silent and regained her train of thought, “The night after the party, I snuck out and went to find Link to persuade him to come with me. I donned a disguise and asked around; I heard that he had gone to the castle. I was happy because I thought that he was already one step ahead of me.”
She shook her head, realizing how much of an idiot she was in the past, “But that was just me and my wishful thinking. I met him, we argued. He wanted me to stay and go with Derek. I was angry and I couldn’t think straight. That was when I made the biggest mistake of my life. I regret it so much.” She paused and looked at Red for a response. Red looked at her with his knowing eyes. She continued, “I kissed Derek in front of Link out of revenge. The horrible thing was...I was enjoying every second of that moment because I could tell Link was hurt.”
Zelda clenched her fists and closed her eyes, “I’m so stupid! I didn’t realize! We never truly broke up! We were always going to be together, even if it wasn’t the same as what we had hoped. Link loved me and I never knew how much. I was so blinded by my vengeance that I didn’t see. He loved me so much that he’d let me go...He’d leave himself in the dark for me. How many people do you know that are willing to do something like that? To give up someone special because it was the only way to make them happy, it was insane; it was...Link’s sacrifice for me. And I spat in his face!”
She began to grow unstable, and Red could tell, “And now I’m here! I’m stuck inside this gods-forsaken ring for all eternity! I’m trapped here forever because I was a cruel monster. This is my punishment. I’m trapped and all I can do is watch the outside world move on. I’m like a bird in a cage, waiting...waiting for someone to set me free so I can spread my wings and fly away. But unlike that bird, I don’t have someone to unlock the cage. I can’t cry out for help like a bird, because no one will hear me. It’s so lonely in here. Loneliness is a different kind of pain; it doesn’t just hurt your arm or your leg. It hurts all over.”
Red asked, “Is there a way to get you out of here?”
Zelda shook her head, “I’ve tried. Theres some sort of barrier around this room. I’m stuck in this little room. Do you see the Hyrule outside the window? That was my creation. It’s like a loop of memories that repeat itself over and over again; always stopping the few seconds before I was killed and starting all over at the beginning. I tried the barrier, and it always holds firm. I end up hurting myself whenever I try. I’ve tried for four years straight before I finally accepted my fate.”
Red stands up, “I’m going to get you out of here.”
Zelda stands up and grabs him by the shoulder as he turned towards the door, “Don’t, Red. Theres nothing you can do. I’m not a spirit, so I can’t be exorcised, either.”
Red looks at her, “But theres got to be a way. How can you give up like that?!” he turns and grabs her by the wrist, “I’ll get you out.”
She shakes her head sadly, “It’s impossible.”
Red walks her to the door and Zelda struggles, “No! You aren’t listening!”
Red walks through the door and pulls her out the doorway. A previously invisible field of light springs up out of the ground and shocks Zelda, she lets out a yell before the force throws her back into the room. Red was unscratched.
He rushes over to her as she sits up with a groan, he says, panicky, “No, I’m so sorry!”
Zelda lets out a faint smile as she brushes herself off, “Don’t worry, after four years of trying, I got kind of used to it.”
“Anyway,” she said as she sat up, “don’t worry about me. It got easier once I accepted my fate as a punishment that I have to serve.”
“But that’s just crazy.” Red said.
Zelda smiled, “Sometimes it’s the crazy things in life that help keep you sane.”
Suddenly, she went serious, “Red, the reason you are here is because I brought you here. You fell asleep with that ring on and I was able to channel your consciousness here. You’ll return to your body once you wake up. I wanted to ask you something.”
Red knew what this was now about, “...It’s about Link, isn’t it?”
Zelda nodded, as she glanced about her quickly, “Please, don’t hate him. He’s gone through a lot. I’m sure that, somewhere deep inside, is the real Link, the Link that everyone knew as a hero.”
“No. I can’t let him live for what he’s done.” Red said, turning serious.
Zelda nodded slowly, sadly, “I know that...but, I only ask that you forgive him and save him...from himself.”
Red looked confused, so Zelda finished, “He’s somewhere inside the evil Link we now know. He’s trapped, like me...he’s buried by his emotions. I only ask that you kill him as a hero doing a good deed, not a drifter who thirsts for revenge. Vengeance will only come back to haunt you, I should know.”
“I’m not sure if I could...” Red said slowly, looking down at the floor.
“You’ll have to decide by yourself, no one can make that decision except for you.” Zelda said as she backed away from him, “It’s time for you to go, your friends are worried.”
Red asked quickly, he was already feeling himself leaving this place, “Will I see you again?”
Zelda shook her head sadly, “I’m sorry, but this was a one time deal...just know that I’ll be watching from my ‘cage’...”
Everything around Red started to fade, including Zelda. Red shouted into the fading scene around him, hoping Zelda could hear, “When this is all over, I’ll come back and let that bird out of its cage, I promise!”
He was surprised to hear Zelda’s voice, it was faint, “Then, I’ll be waiting to spread my wings and fly.”
Red opened his eyes to see Marin hovering over him, she had a worried look on her face. Red was back in the Stock Pot Inn. Marin looked relieved and hugged him, “You’re alive!”
Red just blinked. Akari walks over and yanks Marin off, “About time you woke up, Moron.”
Red sighed; he was back in the real world again. He glanced at the ring on his finger. He brought it up to his shirt and used the end of the cloth to shine it up perfectly.
Making a Stand by Red Sparrow
“Making a Stand”
Red, Marin, and Akari were outside dressed in their usual attire. Marin had come up with an idea to make money, and so, here they were.
“...This is such a lame idea.” Akari muttered. Marin looked at her and smiled, “Oh, c’mon, it worked for me when I was younger!”
Akari looked at her closely, “That’s because you were young, cute, and na´ve. Now you’re old, and idiotic.”
Marin noticed something, “So I’m still cute, then?”
Red joined in on the conversation, “Of course!” Akari shot him a look and placed her palm on his face, shoving him away. She turns back to Marin, “Marin, Marin, Marin...This is not going to work!”
She points at the lemonade stand that they had built. It was now clear that this was Marin’s idea. “Relax,” Marin said, “I think it’s a good idea, no one can resist lemonade!”
“Looks like they’re doing a pretty good job to me...” Akari muttered, watching people pass by. Red sighs, noticing the lack of business, “I think it has something to do with our age...we’re a bit too old for this, don’t you guys think?”
Marin’s eyes light up as she thinks up something, “I have an idea!”
The other two look at her.
Minutes later, Red was wearing a cheap wig and a fake mustache, he walked over to the lemonade stand, looked Akari in the eyes and shouted, “Excuse me, miss, how much for the lemonade?”
Akari just stared at Red as if he were doing the stupidest thing on the face of the earth. Red repeated himself, “Ahem. EXCUSE me, miss, HOW MUCH for the LEMONADE?”
Akari shook her head and whispered harshly to Red, “This is an idiotic plan, and I refuse to take part in it.”
Red looked around at the people around him, he had gotten their attention, so that was at least something. Now Akari was screwing it up, and this angered him, “I said, EXCUSE ME, GRANDMA, how much, for the LEMONADE?!”
Akari blinked and stared at him angrily, “Don’t you dare call me a...”
Marin shoves Akari out of the way and says to Red, “That’ll be FIVE RUPEES!”
“Five Rupees?! That’s a very reasonable price, little girl!” Red said as his mustache began to fall. Red fixed the fake facial hair and placed five rupees on the stand. He picked up a glass of lemonade and takes a drink, “Mmm,” he said, “Delicious!”
The people just stared for a moment and then continued on their business. Marin put her head down; Red sighed and pulled his wig and mustache off. Akari just wore an ‘I-told-you-so’ look on her face. Marin muttered, “I was so sure it’d work...”
Red put a hand on her shoulder, “Don’t worry at least we tried.” Red said, looking at Akari. She snuffs him off.
“Excuse me.” a man’s voice sounded. The three of them looked up and saw a middle aged man. “How much for the lemonade?” he asked. Red and Marin’s face light up in hope, “Five Rupees!” they said together. Akari just stared in shock.
Soon, they had a whole line of customers waiting for some lemonade.
“I can’t believe this is working.” Akari muttered. Marin smiled at her, “See? Everyone likes lemonade!”
Red looks at Akari and gives a victorious smirk, “Told ya so.”
Akari thought about pounding Red right there, but it wasn’t good for business.
“Lemonade, Two Rupees!” a little girl’s voice sounded. There were some words passed around and suddenly the line dispersed and ran towards the voice.
The dynamic trio just stared as their would-be customers formed a line for some little girl’s lemonade stand. She quickly began selling lemonade. She looks at the three a few feet from her and stuck out her tongue in victory. Akari gritted her teeth and walked forward, “I’m going to kill her...”
“NO!” the other two shouted and grabbed her before she reached the girl.
From the Heart by Red Sparrow
“...’Ken-kun’...I haven’t heard that in such a long time. It’s funny how fast time flies.”
“From the Heart”
A forest. The faint light of the setting sun illuminates the trees in its orange glow. The sky was painted in shades of red, blue and orange.
The leaves of the trees part whenever the gentle breeze blows, letting in rays of sunlight. The sky had faint traces of clouds streaked across its canvas, seeming to reach out towards the sun. This forest was surrounded by hills, the birds have stopped chirping hours ago, but the occasional flutter can be heard from time to time.
A lone blond haired, blue eyed fifteen year old girl walked down the dirt trail. She had a white half heart pendent around her neck, along with the red ‘headband’. It was Sakura.
She was walking with one arm holding the pack slung over her left shoulder, and the other holding an opened book.
She barely paid attention to the road, her eyes were concentrating on the text inscribed into the pages.
Before she heard the rustle in the bushes, Sakura had already shut the book, dropped her pack and drawn her revolver. She pointed it straight at the source of the sound behind the bushes.
“Come on out.” She said.
There was another rustle, but nothing more. She set the book down beside the pack, keeping her eyes on the bush. She walks forward and parts the branches with the tip of her gun. There, she found a little puppy tangled in the bushes, it looked like it hadn’t eaten in days. Its hind legs were tied to the bushes with fishing line. It was shivering from the cold.
Sakura’s face softened and she hoisted her weapon. She drew a hunting knife and cut the line. She carefully lifted the puppy up. It kicked its hind legs once before going still. She glanced around her surroundings before concentrating back on the puppy.
It was nightfall. Sakura had set up camp in the woods, a few yards from the main trail; she had the starved puppy in her arms. She had cut off a piece of her cloak and wrapped it around the puppy, leaving its head free.
She reached over towards a small bowl sitting beside her; she picked up a berry and crushed it slightly in her hands. The puppy wouldn’t be able to take solid foods for awhile. Berries weren’t exactly the best things, but it was the only thing she could get on such short notice.
Holding it with one arm, she held the berry up to its mouth. The puppy merely half opens its mouth and takes a few licks.
Sakura frowns. She says softly, “I know you’re tired, but just take a bit more, you need food.” She coached the puppy on.
Sakura places it against the puppy’s mouth. The mouth opened slightly, allowing her to slide it in, she saw the dog swallow and smiled, “Good boy.”
Soon the bowl was empty and the dog was sleeping. Sakura was lightly stroking the top of the pup’s head with her hand. She looked into the fire and sighed, “So this is what they mean by being ‘homesick’.”
She leaned her head back against the tree trunk; she had covered herself and the dog with her cloak. That, combined with the fire, kept them warm for the night.
This was her life. Traveling alone, hunting down wanted murderers and other criminals.
She glanced at the book she was reading. It was stowed inside her pack, but the top of the book was sticking out from the unzipped bag.
Being careful not to disturb the dog, she reached over and pulled the book free. She thumbed through the pages. This book, which she had taken while at the Temple of Dusk, headquarters of the now extinct Clandestine of Dusk. She remembered saving one person while there. She had heard a splash and had dove after the girl a few seconds after she had hit the water. Sakura didn’t know what that girl was up to now, but she highly doubted that she would try to reform the society. But, in the end, she didn’t care for her. It was just another life she had saved. She was disillusioned by the whole ‘save people, fight villains’ routine. It had quickly gotten old.
She had read roughly half the book, but it had simply told of a land she had never heard of. Hyrule.
The author of the book was someone named Saria. She didn’t care about that, either. She looked at the fire and glanced back at the pages, flipping through it until something caught her eye. She flipped back and stopped on a single page. This page had a small envelope tucked inside. She pulled it out and set the book down. She opened the envelope and pulled out a slip of paper.
I’m sorry for acting the way I did last night. I feel awful about what I’ve done. I know you told me that you didn’t want to get in any sort of relationship beyond that of a friend, but I just suddenly couldn’t help myself.
I hope you don’t hate me for what I tried to do, and I’ll understand if you don’t want to talk to me anymore. Just know that I’m very sorry and I wish to apologize through this letter.
I know. It’s not the same as doing it in person. But you know me; I’m just too stubborn to say anything in person. It’s rather silly, isn’t it? I act all mature but I’m just like a child on the inside, just like you said.
I truly hope that you can forgive me.
I’m not sure what happened in the past that made you this way, but I just want to tell you that you should just let go. It’s making you miserable. As a friend, I won’t stand for that. I hate seeing you this way, and I know that it’s affecting Vale as well. I know it’s none of my concern, but I’m just worried about you. I pray that you feel better.
Sakura looked at the paper for a few more moments before slipping it back inside the book and closing it. She gently slid the book back into the backpack and continued to pet the dog. She was deep in thought, thinking about that letter. She knew she was intruding into other people’s business, but she was curious as to how Saria and Ivan had ended up. She didn’t know who Saria was, but Ivan...
She felt sick. She knew exactly who Ivan was. He was the criminal she was hired to kill. She succeeded and had met her brother in the process.
She could’ve killed him right there, but she chose not to. That wasn’t the proper place for their reunion.
She had lost track of him and his friends after they had boarded a boat. She knew that they were headed for the port kingdom of Aria. Later, she had arrived and found that they weren’t there; she figured that they had stopped at Kohilint Island instead, possibly to restock for some reason. They were headed to Aria, she was sure of that. All she had to do was wait and plan.
The letter between Ivan and Saria was bothering her, though. She felt sick thinking about it. She had killed a lot of people, but it was nothing to her. She didn’t know anything about them except their crimes and their basic profile. But now that she had a glimpse of Ivan’s life she felt something she hadn’t felt for a long time ever since her brother, Ken, had run out of that house. Guilt.
It was then that she realized something. If simply knowing a little bit of Ivan’s life made her feel this way, then how could she kill Ken, whom she had known for most of her childhood?
She shook her head, dismissing this thought. She thought about what he had done to their family and once again began to feel hatred towards him. Killing him now seemed like the best thing she could ever do. She couldn’t wait. She couldn’t wait for their heartwarming family reunion.
This was their third day at Kohilint Island. It was early in the morning. Marin steps out of her room, yawning and stretching her arms over her head. She drops her arms to her sides and blinks her sleep away. Her arms move up to rub her eyes with the back of her hands.
She glances to the right at Akari’s bed. Her jaw drops. She blinks and checks her eyes. She sees Akari sleeping on the bed, but she was in Red’s arms. She blinked again, making sure she wasn’t seeing things.
A little smirk finally formed on her face. She looked at those two. Who would’ve thought? She looked at the two of them as they slept; their clothes were on, meaning they hadn’t done anything. They just looked so peaceful like that. Marin stares at Red’s sleeping face for a moment. Maybe this was her chance. She glances at Akari quickly before leaning in to Red. Her face was so close to his...she blinked and pulled away quickly, blushing furiously. She got angry at herself. She was about to do something she knew would be the stupidest thing ever.
She grabbed a towel lying on the kitchen counter and headed towards the bathroom. She wasn’t watching the ground and almost tripped on something. She saves her balance and looks down at a crumpled sleeping bag. She glances at the two in bed and then at the sleeping bag. She shrugs and walks on.
Earlier that night...
“I can’t believe we finally have enough.” Red muttered, lying in his sleeping bag. Akari jumped onto her bed and leaned her head off the side, looking at him upside-down, letting her hair fall, “Yeah, no thanks to you.”
Red frowned, “What are you talking about? I helped! I worked at that little hot dog...place, thing.”
“Yeah, I saw you.” Akari muttered, “You were the idiot in the hot dog suit waving at people and scaring little kids.”
Red defended himself, “I wasn’t scaring them! The suit was! It had this freaky glazed look on its face.”
“I, at least, had a respectable job.” Akari said proudly.
“You were a substitute teacher, I know. I could hear you yelling from four blocks away.”
Akari looked embarrassed, “They were just little brats—bunch of snotty spoiled rich kids who don’t know respect.”
Red raised a brow, “What are you talking about? That school is run by charity.”
Akari didn’t respond, but threw a pillow at Red, “Shut it!”
Red laughed and blocked the pillow with his forearm; he lowered his guard and picked up the pillow. He looks at it and says, “By the way, what was Marin doing?”
Akari shrugged, “She was a waitress or something at a bar.”
“She must’ve been worn out by that job. She’s sleeping already.” Red muttered. Akari glanced at the door to Marin’s room, “Nah, she probably got drunk or something.”
“Why do you like talking about people like that?” Red asked.
Akari suddenly looked defensive, “What? I can’t say what’s on my mind?”
“Well, there are some things you should keep to yourself.” Red muttered.
Akari looks at him and says, “What are you talking about? You’re the one who asks me about my life and fall asleep while I’m talking!”
Red looks down, “Sorry, I guess I was a bit tired after running around all day.”
Akari looks him over closely. Finally, she says, “...Sure.”
Red sighs and lies down in his sleeping bag, “You know, this bag is killing me.”
Akari watches him, “Well, that’s your problem.” She says. Red sighs, “Why don’t I get the bed for once?”
Akari smirks, “You know, Red, you complain as much as a girl.” Red gives her a look, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Akari snatches her previously thrown pillow back, “Don’t worry about it.” She sets the pillow back on her bed and rests her head on it. She turns out the lights, “Night.”
“Night...” Red said back.
After a few minutes, Red says, “Akari.”
Akari lets out a loud sigh and replies, “What?” Red pauses and then says, “How about we switch places for tonight? You sleep in the bag for once and I’ll get the bed. This is like, our last day anyways, so it’s only for one night.”
Akari replies sharply, “No. You’re a guy, you’re supposed to let us girls get all the good stuff.”
Red frowns, “No one says that.”
Akari smirks in the darkness, “I do.”
After a few moments of silence, Red asks again, “Akari...can we switch, please?”
Akari sighs louder this time, “No!”
Red went silent before asking, “...Please?”
Akari grits her teeth, “I said ‘No!’ dammit!”
“Just once! My back is killing me!” Red complained. Akari replies quickly, “If your back doesn’t kill you, I will!” she didn’t realize the irony in that sentence.
Red’s voice comes to her ears again, “...Please?” Akari retorts back, “Fine, if it’ll shut you up!”
Red smiles; Marin was right. All he had to do was ask.
Soon, they switched. Red was in the bed, while Akari was in the sleeping bag. Akari groans, “Gods, how can you sleep in this thing?! Is there a rock in here?!”
Red laughs at her quietly, “Good night.”
After tossing and turning for ten minutes, Akari stands up and flings the bag angrily across the room. She looks at Red and walks up to him. She thought about shaking him awake, but she had a better idea. She cracked her knuckles and tensed her right arm. She swings hard and slaps him in the back of the neck, leaving a bright red imprint of her hand. Red bolts up quickly and shouts, “What the hell?!” he rubs the back of his neck and turns to find Akari.
“What was that for?!” he asked angrily. Akari glared at him, she was in a bad mood without any sleep, “Get out of the bed. Go to your stupid sleeping bag and let me sleep.”
Red looks at her for a moment and shook his head, “No, it’s just for one night. Just deal with it like I did.”
“I’m a fragile little girl!” she said, “You’re a guy! Theres a difference, jerk!”
Red looked at her as she tried to talk him into giving up the soft fluffy bed, “You’re a little girl, huh? The way you act, I couldn’t tell.”
Akari realizes what he was implying and clenches her fists. Then she realized that this wasn’t going to help in her quest to find a place to sleep. She looks around and her eyes rest on the sleeping bag crumpled on the floor beside the wall, “Here.” She says as she left the bed and grabbed the bag. She places the bag on the bed, separating the bed in two halves. She explains, “That’s your side, and this is my side. Cross the line, and you’ll lose more than just a few pints of blood, got it?” she says threateningly.
Red agrees, happy that he still had a bed to sleep on, “Sure. Just don’t try anything funny.”
Akari punches him in the arm, “Who do you think I am, you?”
Akari opens her eyes slowly. She gasps when she realized where she was. She looks up to see Red sleeping. It was so warm and nice that she didn’t want to leave. But she couldn’t be seen like this! Thinking this over she decides to catch a few more minutes of sleep. She’ll let Red wake up first so she can blame him like she usually does. Liking her plan, she moves closer to Red and closes her eyes.
Red, Akari, and Marin walked down the streets towards the docks. They had enough to get supplies, and a bit more left for the boat trip. It was perfect.
As they walked past the shops, something catches Marin’s eye and she stops. Red and Akari walk on until they realized that they were missing Marin.
They turn back to see Marin walking out of the gift shop with a grin on her face. She held a little purple bag. Akari asks in her usual annoyed tone, “What stupid thing did you buy this time?”
Marin reaches into the bag and places the white bunny ears on her head. Akari and Red just stare.
Marin answered their obvious question, “It was really cute looking! I wanted one!”
Akari sighs, “You act like such a kid.”
They continue walking. Akari was in the center, leading the way. Red was to the right, and Marin to the left. Marin was still wearing the hat and kept readjusting it and trying to bite the ears that drooped down in front of her face.
Akari, annoyed, snatches the bunny ears off her head and says, “Stop that!”
Marin frowns and reaches over for it, “Gimme back!”
Red looks at the two and sighs. He snatches the ears from behind Akari and tosses them back to Marin. Marin catches it and places it proudly back on her head. Akari frowns and punches Red in the arm, “Why are you always on her side?!”
Red rubs the side of his arm and replies, “I’m not on anyone’s side, I just don’t want too much attention from everyone here.”
“Whatever.” She responds angrily.
Marin suddenly stops again, causing the others to follow suit. “What’s wrong?” Red asked. Marin points at a photo booth, “Can we?”
Akari crosses her arms and says, “No.” she then realizes that they were already entering the booth, “...Why do I even bother?” she mutters angrily as she walks over to join them.
She sits down next to them, placing Red in the center. “So,” Red asked, “what is this thing?”
Marin answered as she slipped in a few rupees, “It’s a Pictobooth!”
“A what?” Akari and Red asked. Marin thought for a moment before replying, “Well...uhm. It’s like a pictobox...except better, because it takes colored photos and it’s in a booth!”
“Sounds neat!” Red said, excited.
“Sounds stupid.” Akari said, not excited.
“Just give it a chance, Akari.” Marin said. Akari looked at the two and shrugged, “Fine, whatever.”
Minutes later they reached the docks. They walked up to the ticket seller.
Akari places rupees onto the counter and says, “Three tickets to Aria, please!” The man counts and says, “Sorry, ma’am, but this isn’t enough.”
Akari blinked, “What do you mean? This IS enough! I checked yesterday!”
The man shrugged, “Well, I’m sorry, we brought the price up from yesterday.”
“WHAT?!” Akari exclaimed. She looked at the man angrily, “We’re going to get those tickets, understand?”
The man shakes his head, “I don’t think you heard me the first time, so I’ll spell it out for you: N, O, No.”
Akari grits her teeth and clenches her fists, “Could you say that one more time?”
The man says angrily, losing his patience, “Lady, can’t you hear?! I said, N-OH MY GODS!!! Get her off!!!” Akari had reached over and started to strangle the man in a furious rage. Red and Marin quickly stepped up and began to pry her arms off the man’s throat, “Get off him!” Red shouted.
Later that day...
The three were sitting down on a bench, depressed. Red looked at Akari, “You’re lucky, you know that? He could’ve had you arrested.”
Akari shrugged, “Wouldn’t have made a difference to me. I would’ve kicked the crap out of all those jackasses.”
“What do we do now?” Marin asked.
Red looked down, “I guess we gotta get our jobs back and earn a few more rupees.”
Akari shook her head, “Screw it; we’re going into the bank.”
Red looks at her, “Why? Do you have an account?” she gives him an annoyed expression, “Look, the bank teller is an idiot who stamps people’s foreheads with some sort of ink thing. All we have to do is fake him out and the money is ours.”
“Isn’t that stealing?” Red asked, unsure. Akari sighs, “Don’t be such a pansy. I’m sure there was SOMEONE out there who’d done it.”
“I’m sure they had a good excuse, like...saving the world from a falling moon...or something.” Red said, thinking he made that up.
Akari tilts her head to the side, “You wanna get off this island or what?”
Red suddenly looks around, “...hey, where’s Marin?” he stands up and tries to find her through the crowd.
“Excuse me, sir.” Marin said as she walked up to the owner of the local bar she worked at.
A large man, whom was the owner of the place looks at her and says, “Marin! You’re back! Have you come to reapply for your job?”
Marin shook her head, “I’m sorry, sir. But no.”
The man frowned, “That’s a shame, and you were such a great waiter.” The man examines her for clues as to why she had come back, “If it’s not for a job, then I don’t suppose you’ll be wanting a drink, then?”
Marin smiles and shakes her head, “I’m wondering if it’s too late to sign in for that contest later tonight.”
The man looks at her, “Thinking of joining?”
Marin nods, “Yeah, my friends and I need the prize money.”
“Well, what are you going to do?” the man asks. Marin shrugged, “I’m not quite sure...I’ll think of something!”
It was nightfall now. The streets were lit up by the lights of shops and street lamps. People still walked through the streets for some late night browsing and shopping.
Red ran towards Akari, whom was holding a man against the wall. She had his arm in a very painful wristlock.
The man cried, “I swear! I don’t know who you’re talking about!”
Red taps Akari on the shoulder, she looks over her shoulder at him, “Well?”
Red points down the street he had come from, “I found Marin! She’s at the bar!”
Akari looks at the man and quickly releases him, “Sorry about that.” She turns to Red and they both run down the street towards the building Marin was in.
They both walk through the doorway and stare at the inside of the bar. People were sitting in little circular tables before a large stage. Lights of different colors were scattered around this place. A man was on stage being assaulted by beer cans and alcoholic bottles. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore and runs out as the crowd booed him.
Akari looks at Red and says, “I think I have a good idea what Marin is going to do...”
Just then, the owner of the bar, wearing an expensive tuxedo came up on stage with a microphone, “Give it up for Vertilgo for his comedy act!” the owner ducks under a flying chair, “Tough crowd.” He mutters.
“Well,” the owner cleared his throat, “I’d like you to give a round of applause for our next contestant!” he looks off stage and leans in, listening to something. He shrugs and nods, “Give it up for Swift!”
No one clapped as Marin walked on stage slowly; she took the microphone from the owner. The man looked at her and whispered as he began to leave the stage, “Good luck, be careful, these people are a bit too violent.”
Marin taps on the mike and clears her throat before speaking, “Uhm...hi.”
No response. She says, “I’m gonna uhm...sing a song I wrote ten minutes ago!”
She reaches into her pocket and searches with her hand. She blinks and pulled out her hand with nothing in it. She stared out at the crowd and says, “I uh...seem to have lost it.”
She decides to improvise and think up the words right on the spot. She says, “Ok...here goes.”
Akari shakes her head. Red crosses his fingers and hopes she doesn’t make a bigger fool out of herself in front of all these people.
She nods to the musicians who have gathered behind her. She looks at the drummer and the other players and nods slowly.
The light dims with the start with a fast paced song. Marin was hoping for a slower song so she would have enough time to think things through.
The music went on as Marin tried think up any sort of lyrics.
She places the microphone in front of her mouth and sings, “I know...”
She trails off. She says again, trying to think up something, “And now, I know...”
She looks at Red. They looked at each other and Red mouths to her, ‘You can do it.’
Marin smiles and suddenly lets the words flow:
“Every night I sit alone by myself,
I look up at the picture that I have of you
and realize that it's simply not enough.
Can I do nothing to make my wish come true?
I cry all by myself,
Bury my misery.
And I never know for sure
what is wrong with me.
All those silly dreams,
I know what they mean,
They're tellin' me to just let you go.
Well I'm not that weak, and I'm ready to let it show.
And now, I know,
That all I have to do
is go to you,
I'm sick of waiting.
And now, I know,
There'll be no turning back
until this is through,
I'm so much stronger,
I won't let go,
So Lead. Me. To. The. End.”
She stops as the music keeps going, the people watching go quiet and seemed to have gotten into the song. For a moment, she was her mother, Malon, singing. Red and Akari’s jaws drop. Akari exclaims, “She can sing?!?!” Marin continues:
“I slowly take your picture off that dusty shelf,
and I know in my heart
that our promise still holds true.
But still, it's simply not enough.
It won't take me away,
It won't take me to you.
All those silly dreams,
I know what they mean,
They're tellin' me to just let you go.
Well I'm not that weak, and I'm ready to let it show.
And now, I know,
That all I have to do
is go to you,
I'm sick of waiting.
And now, I know,
There'll be no turning back
until this is through,
I'm so much stronger
I won't let go,
So Lead. Me. To. The. End.
All night I spend
in front of that lonely fireplace.
I'm not sure why,
in my heart theres this empty space.
All those silly dreams,
I know what they mean,
They're tellin' me to just let you go.
Well I'm not that weak, and I'm ready to let it show.
And now, I know,
That all I have to do
is go to you,
I'm sick of waiting.
And now, I know,
There'll be no turning back
until this is through.
Theres no debating.
And I'll come to you and say
as I round that bend,
Please Lead. Me. To. The--
And now, I'm sure,
That all I have to do
is fly to you,
I'll spread my wings.
And now, I'll come,
There'll be no turning back
until this is done.
Theres no use dreaming,
I'm strong enough.
And I'll come to you and say
as I round that bend,
Please Lead. Me. To. The. End.”
The music suddenly stops. Marin bows. The crowd was silent. Marin felt uneasy about this.
Red clapped, breaking the silence, Akari joins in. Suddenly the entire room erupts in cheers and applause. The owner steps up and holds Marin’s hand over her head, “I think we have a winner! Give it up for Swift!!!”
Later that night, they walked down the streets, 900 rupees richer. Akari looked at her and says, “That was incredible, Marin!”
Red smiles, “I never knew you could sing.”
Marin looks at the two and says, “Well, you never asked!”
Raven in Moonlight (Part One) by Red Sparrow
“Vale!!! Open your eyes, dammit! It doesn’t have to end like this...not here, not now. We’ve still got a job to finish! Don’t leave us halfway!”
“It’s a special bond that the both of you have. And it’s that bond that I aim to sever, little Raven.”
“So...this is all a lie? What we’ve been fighting for...this team...our lives. It’s all a lie? Heh...somehow, it doesn’t surprise me coming from you, Vale. Not in the least.”
“...so, that means...you’ve met Red when he was younger, didn’t you? How was he like? I’m sorry, maybe I shouldn’t be too nosey...but, I’m just curious...and I miss him, too. I miss him a lot.”
“...the Zora Sapphire, the Goron Ruby, and...Finally, the Kokiri Emerald...I think theres only one problem to this little plan of yours...where’s this Kokiri Emerald?”
“Raven in Moonlight (Part One)”
The large doors creaked open. Light from the outside world flowed in. In the doorway, Vale stood. She wore her old clothes, the witch’s hat, the black cloak, everything. On her back was the broken staff, it was put back together with fine white tape.
The rooms before her were veiled within shadow. This was the Temple of Dusk, her home. It had been a month after leaving the hospital; she had spent the rest of the time building up the courage to go back. For some reason, this place now scared her. But, for another, more personal reason, she knew she was to come back. She had some unfinished business...she had to do something...something that she wouldn’t be able to forget until it was done.
She shut the door behind her, shutting out the light and letting the darkness reclaim its lost territory. Vale raised her hand, there was a quiet snap. Then, the torches all lit up, throwing light back into the threshold.
She lowered her hand and walked forward.
She looked to the walls at the bloodstains. It seemed fresh to her. It was as if time had forgotten this place. The only thing she didn’t see were the corpses of her companions, her comrades, her friends...they were like family. She felt somewhat grateful. She didn’t want to see those awful sights again. Having them etched into her memory forever was horrid enough; she didn’t need to refresh her memory.
The torches cracked as the light danced across the halls, seeming to lead Vale to where she needed to go to next.
She entered the library. There was more blood here, more fallen friends, and more fallen enemies. But again, for some reason, the corpses were gone.
The books were strewn everywhere, forcing her to wade through.
In the center of this circular room were the familiar statues, one that depicted the sages. She knew who all of them were, she studied about them when she was younger.
Nabooru, Rauru, Zelda, Impa, Ruto, Darunia, and Saria, her own mother...She was always proud of that fact. Her own mother, a legendary Sage!
She walked on.
Finally, she reached a familiar room; this place was where everything went downhill. She prayed that she wouldn’t have to see her mother lying in here...she wouldn’t be able to take it. She built up her strength and willed herself not to run away after making it this far. She parted the doors and stepped through.
To her surprise, she didn’t see Saria. She walked forward and stopped where Saria once lay.
She knelt down and placed her finger on the cobblestone, she ran her fingers across it. This was where she died.
Vale fought back the tears. She promised herself not to cry. She wanted to be strong.
She reached into her cloak and drew a bouquet of forest flowers. She laid them in the center of what she guessed would be where Saria's chest would've been. She whispered, “Hi, it’s me...I never got to say good-bye last time...I hope you’ll forgive me for being so late. By now, I guess you’ll probably be scolding me and telling me to stop being so late all the time.”
She stood up.
There was a loud clang behind her, she turned and saw a girl with black hair with brown highlights and brown eyes, she looked like she was Vale’s age. They almost looked the same. She was wearing the same cloak as Vale. Designs were etched into the fabric.
The only difference was that Vale had black hair, no highlights, and her eyes were a shade of green, not brown.
Vale stared in shocked silence. The girl looked at Vale solemnly and said, “So...you’ve survived, too...”
Vale’s eyes started to tear up, “Y-you’re...alive...?”
The girl looked at herself, and then up at Vale. The girl said, “...I sure hope so.”
Vale ran up to her and hugged her tightly, “I can’t believe it! You’re alive, Kiara!” tears streamed down her face. Kiara put her arms around Vale as well, “I thought I was the only one left...”
They both let go and looked each other over. Kiara smiled, “You look terrible, Vale.”
Vale looked herself over, “Sorry, I wasn’t expecting company.”
Kiara smirked, “Neither was I, little sister.”
Kiara quickly raised her palm in front of Vale’s face; Vale took half a step back as Kiara fired. Everything goes black.
Raven in Moonlight (Part Two) by Red Sparrow
“Sisters. There are things that only sisters can share. Whether it’s the good or the bad, they share it all...but it won’t always stay that way. No, nothing ever stays the same. What comes next? I don’t know, really...perhaps because I haven’t been able to answer that question myself. Even after all this time, Vale. Your sister still hasn’t got a clue.”
“Raven in Moonlight (Part Two)”
“Wake up, little sister.” Kiara’s voice called out to Vale from beyond the darkness. Vale let out a soft groan and opened her eyes. Slowly her eyes adjusted.
Vale now realized that she was sitting in the corner of the same room. She saw that her legs were chained together, as were her arms. She was lying on her side; Kiara was standing over her, holding a book. Vale realized that her hat was gone.
Vale sat up as best she could and leaned her shoulder against the wall. She looked up at her older sister and asked, “What’s going on? What happened? ...Where’s my hat?”
Kiara smirked at her and shut the book. She tossed it aside, “I can’t believe you still wore that thing after all these years...you’re too wedged into the past.”
Vale adjusted herself slightly and replied, “But, Kiara...you’re the one who gave that to me. Remember?”
“Of course I do!” Kiara said quickly, “We were close...we were sisters. We were inseparable. They had to dye my hair in order to tell us apart.”
“What are you talking about?” Vale asked, “Why did you tie me up?”
Kiara stared at Vale for a long time, “You’re telling me you don’t know?”
Vale stayed silent. She truly didn’t know. Kiara walked over to a table and picked the hat up. She stared at it for a moment, “I was born five minutes before you were...”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Vale asked her sister. Kiara looked at her and shook her head in a disappointed way, “Poor, ignorant little sister...I should’ve expected you to be like this. You’re still clueless and weak. I’ve known you for your entire life and you’ve never raised a finger against me. No matter how much I’d bully you. You were always so forgiving...so kind.” She glances at Vale before saying, “But, I know now that it wasn’t because you were scared of me...it was because you were too na´ve. You’re too trusting.”
Vale cuts in and asks, “Why am I tied up? What do you plan to do?”
“What do I plan to do?” Kiara repeated to herself, “I plan to enact my revenge against you...the last surviving member of the Clandestine of Dusk besides me.”
“...Revenge?” Vale contemplated fearfully, “What for?”
“Use your head, sister!” Kiara shouted, “When we were both thirteen, I was kidnapped. I waited for so long to have someone rescue me! But no one came! You all deserted me and left me for dead!”
“No,” Vale shouted, “I didn’t!”
Ken shrugged and smiled, “I guess.” He leans back, looking up at the sky, “What are you doing so far from Hyrule anyways?”
Vale leans back as well, looking up at the stars, “I’m just wandering around, letting my feelings guide me. I don’t really know, ya know?” she sighs, “Maybe I’m looking for something important, maybe I’m looking for nothing at all.”
She glances at Ken, “Its confusing, isn’t it?”
Vale tried to explain herself to Kiara, “We’ve all searched for you for years! Everyone else gave up, except me! Plus, you came back, so I thought everything was okay! Wasn’t it?!”
Kiara looked at Vale spitefully, “Tch, you’re all a bunch of fools. Do you honestly believe I escaped Link’s capture myself? I made a deal!”
“...A deal?” Vale said as the truth began to dawn on her.
Kiara nodded, “He’d let me go...if I revealed the location of our home. It’s a no-loss deal...He’d be able to wipe out this society, and I’ll get my revenge. He let me go, and I returned...not as your sister, but a spy. We used Vincent as the scapegoat. Mother died, thinking Vincent was to blame.”
“How...could you?!” Vale exclaimed, “We were family!!”
“NO!” Kiara shouted, causing Vale to jump in surprise. Kiara looked down at her coldly and said in an acidic voice, “No...This ‘family’, this ‘home’...it’s all dead to me. This family of yours rejected me and accepted you! Everyone forgot about me, and now I’ve had my vengeance on them!”
“You’re crazy!” Vale shouted at her eldest sister. Kiara looked at her and backhands Vale into silence.
“Don’t you dare call me crazy!” Kiara screamed in anger, “You’re the ones who are crazy! During my time as a captive, I’ve finally seen the truth! You can’t beat Link! You can’t kill him! This entire organization is a big lie!”
She kneels in front of Vale and grabs her chin. Kiara makes Vale face her and says, “He’s immortal. The Scared Realm is sealed. Everything will fall into shadow. Everyone who opposes him shall be annihilated...you understand?”
Vale tried to turn her head away, but Kiara forces her to face her. Vale said slowly, “What’s happened to you...?”
Kiara pushed Vale’s face away, “I’ve grown up, Vale. I’ve become my own woman...I rely only on myself.” She looks at Vale, “I’ve evolved and changed to survive the times...this society...you...have not.” Kiara stands up, “You’re not going to live through this, Vale. not with you're knowledge and that attitude. I’m going to give you a second chance.”
Kiara glanced at the hat in her hands, “This is the last act of kindness I shall grant you. As thanks for keeping this with you.” She places the hat firmly back on Vale's head.
She backs away, “You’re going to have to adapt and survive the next time I see you. But, I’ll warn you now...don’t expect a warm welcome, baby sister.”
Vale looked at her fearfully, “What are you going to do to me?”
Kiara extended her palm to the helpless Vale, “We’ll see each other again...” she said in a soft voice, “To me, it’ll be for a long, long time...but to you, it’ll be in a blink of an eye. Adapt and grow, Vale.”
Kiara’s palm glows a bright blue. Vale struggled in her chains, “Kiara! I don’t understand!”
Kiara said softly, “If you live...you’ll understand one day. I’ll see you again, Vale...awaken and spread your wings, little Raven. Good-bye, my antithesis. I look forward to the end.”
Vale closed her eyes tightly. Kiara fired off a spell. A spell that was the same as the one the Master Sword had cast on Link a long time ago. Vale felt a cold chill flow all over her body, and then...she knew no more.
Fortune Doesn't Smile by Red Sparrow
“Fortune Doesn’t Smile”
The wooden ship docks at the large kingdom of Aria. The size of this kingdom was well over twice the size of Hyrule. The entire pavement was lined with white shiny blocks of brick. The buildings were all pearly white as well...it was a very bright and rich kingdom. Red stared on in wonder. Meanwhile, Akari and Marin simply stepped forward and entered the city with Red in tow. It wasn’t the first time they had seen this place. The sky was clear and blue, a perfect day. Seagulls squawked whilst pestering people with food. One of the gulls succeeded and managed to steal a large loaf of bread from a little five year old girl. The girl began to cry and hugged her mother.
People with heavy luggage pushed their way past them as they trekked through the wooden docks. The sounds of steamships and horns filled the air, accompanied by the talk of the people around. It was a very loud place. Red, Marin and Akari finally managed to get into a less crowded part of the docks, giving them some fresh air.
“Wow...” Red said, “This place is big!” Akari scoffed, “Whatever, it’s all looks anyways. This dump is just like every other town we’ve been in except with a different coat of paint.”
Red, watching the hustle and bustle of the ships and the city, accidentally bumps into an elderly woman. She looked to be around sixty years of age.
“I’m sorry!” Red said bowing apologetically. The woman looked at him for a moment, then her eyes dart to Marin and Akari. Akari stares at the woman suspiciously. The woman takes a step back and Akari shouts to the old lady. “Hold it!!”
The woman turns and runs, causing the trio to give chase, “Why are we chasing her!?” Red shouted to Akari. Akari shouts back, “She ran, so she must know something we don’t!” Marin mutters as they see her turn the corner and enter the city through the gates, “Boy, she sure can run!”
The woman runs into an alleyway. There was brickwork on the other side. Twenty seconds later, the trio enters the alleyway. The woman merely stood there at the end, watching them. She didn’t move.
Akari looked around suspiciously. Red and Marin bolts forward, but was stopped as Akari grabs them by the collar and yanks them back, “Wait...” she muttered as she releases her grip. Red and Marin rub their sore necks after being pulled so hard by Akari. Akari kneels down and stares at what seemed to be empty space.
“What are you looking at?” Red asked as he knelt beside her. Marin simply stays standing and watches Akari intently. Akari speaks, “None of you move a muscle.”
Akari takes a deep breath and seemed to gag silently on something for a few seconds before calming down. She leans forward and softly blows pink mist from her mouth. Marin looked alarmed at this. Red simply looked on in surprise. The mist settles on some nearly invisible thin string. The string now shows up clearly in pink.
“It’s a trap...” Marin and Red mutter. Akari stands up and stares at the woman. She asks sharply, “Who are you? You’re obviously not a regular old woman.”
The woman stares silently, before replying in a raspy voice, “I’m simply an Oracle...”
“...Oracle?” Red repeated to himself. Marin’s face lights up, “Oooh! An oracle! You're a fortune teller, right? Tell us our future!”
Akari sighs heavily and elbows Marin hard in the ribs. Marin grabs her side, “Ow! That hurt! I’m not Red!” Red looked offended, “Hey!”
Akari glances at her, “Sorry, force of habit.” She turns back to the lady. She was surprised to find her missing, “What the...” the woman suddenly appears behind the trio and before anyone could react, she gives a loud grunt and shoves Marin into Akari, which in turn, falls onto Red, whom falls onto the string, triggering the trap. A spell circle springs into effect below their feet and traps them inside. “Damn!” Akari shouted in frustration as they all stood. The trio looked down to the large red spell circle glowing below.
Akari and Marin both extend their hands to the barrier and shout, “Carmen! Impero Eximo!” their spells were nullified with a faint hum from the spell circle.
They both lowered their hands and looked at each other, surprised that the other knew the same spell.
Not to be outdone, Red steps forward, “Lemme try!”
The others backed off as he drew his sword. He raised the sword over his head and shouted, “Akakaze no Jutsu!” he swings down and summons a blade of wind forward, the wind flows through the barrier as if it were nothing. Red grins and walks forward, “See? I knew it’d—Ahhh!” he cried out as he got a shock from the barrier and falls back into the circle. Marin quickly helps him up and Akari shakes her head, “Idiot...using a wind spell on a barrier designed to hold people! Wind and air go through it anyways! How else are we breathing!?”
Red shouted back angrily, standing up without Marin’s aide, “Hey! It was the only spell I knew how to do!”
“Quit your mindless babbling!” the woman’s voice came from in front of them. They looked up to see her standing there. For a minute they had forgotten about her. She smirked, finally getting their full attention, “I guess Fortune didn’t smile upon you today.” She cackled, she had them where she wanted.
First Step to a Tragedy by Red Sparrow
“First Step to a Tragedy”
“You know, I’m getting pretty sick of that laugh of yours!” Akari glared to the woman coldly.
“Stupid girl!” the woman replied with her acidic voice, “You aren’t in the position to take such a tone with me!”
Red asks, “What do you want?”
The old woman smiles faintly, “I’ve been waiting to meet you for a long time. But this isn’t the place for our true reunion.”
“What are you? What reunion? You obviously aren’t an Oracle.” Red replied quickly. He suddenly felt very nervous.
The woman cleared her throat, “I’m not here for you, I’m here for the girl!” she pointed to Marin. Marin steps forward, pushing Akari and Red aside, “Why are you people after me so much!? Who are you?!”
The woman shook her head, “This isn’t personal, its simply a job I was hired to do. As for my name, call me Sylph, the Angel of the Edict.” She pulled out her revolver named Rapidfire.
Red’s eyes widened, “Rapidfire?!”
“What is that thing?!” Akari demanded. She had never seen such a weapon before.
Sylph twirled the revolver and pointed the barrel at Marin, “Fare thee well.” She pulled the trigger. Red and Akari stare on in shock as the bullet strikes Marin in the heart; Marin cries out and falls back into Red’s arms. “Marin!!!” Akari and Red both shout.
Sylph turns and runs out of the alleyway.
“Stop!!” Akari yells from inside the barrier. Sylph continues running and rounds another corner. Without losing stride, she grabs a flap of skin on her neck and rips the mask off revealing Sakura’s youthful face. Sakura looks over her shoulder and smiles. “Enjoy your first loss, Ken-kun. It won’t be your last. Your baby sister has a few more tricks up her sleeve.” She lets out a joyous giggle and disappears into the thick crowd. She was the happiest girl in the world.
The barrier fades and Marin convulses, holding her chest, she screams out desperatly, “It burns! Make it stop!” she starts choking.
“...it burns...” Red muttered. He turns to Akari as she knelt beside him. Akari says quickly, “We have to get her someplace safe!”
Red shakes his head, “It’s no good, she’s been hit directly in the heart, and she’s losing a lot of blood, theres no way to stop the bleeding.”
“The thing...is it in her?” Akari asked as she pulled her cloak from her pack and wrapped it around Marin. Red shook his head, “No...It’s not.”
“How can you be so sure?” Akari asked. Red showed her his left shoulder, it was grazed by the bullet, “’Cause it went through her and almost got me.”
Marin twitched again and begins to cry. Red and Akari look down on her. Akari tries her best to comfort Marin as Red searches frantically through his pack, he pulls out a bandage, some disinfectant and a few other items. Meanwhile, Akari holds Marin’s hand and says, “Marin, you still with us?”
Marin looks up at Akari with teary eyes and nods quickly, she wants to talk, but couldn’t. Akari smiled reassuringly at her, “It’s alright, Marin, you’re ok...don’t worry.” She looked at Red and asked, “Isn’t that right?”
Red pauses and looks at her for a moment. He doesn’t respond. He looks Marin in the eyes and says, “...Stay conscious, Marin! Don’t fade out!”
Marin only sees a faint form of color hovering above her. She felt so sleepy...she needed some rest. A voice echoes, it sounded like Akari’s, “Marin!!! Stay with us!!”
She then heard Red’s voice calling out, “We’re losing her...it’s too late...!”
She was warm, but she was shivering for some reason. Everything was swirling around her. She tried to say something, but wasn’t sure if she said it. She heard Red respond, “I will...”
She closed her eyes; she didn’t remember what she just said.
“Marin!” Akari shouted and shook her violently, “Don’t you dare die on us!” she slaps her hard across the face, “Stay awake!” Red grabs Akari and yanks her away. Red says sadly, on the verge of crying, “Marin...we're so sorry...”
Marin didn’t know what was going on. All she knew was that she felt nothing, nothing except a slight tingling feeling. She was warm, yet she felt an icy chill spread through her. She felt sad. She felt lost, she felt...
That's what Friends are for by Red Sparrow
“That’s what Friends are for”
Silence. That was the word of that moment, silence. A small group of doctors left a room. This room was one with several others making up a small inn.
The doctors all had their heads down as they filed out. The door shut, leaving Red, Akari and Marin's body inside. Red walked to the door, leaned on it slowly and locked it with a quiet click.
Akari sat beside the bed where Marin’s corpse lay. Marin's entire body up to her neck was covered in a white blanket. Her face was emotionless, eyes closed. Akari stared at her face quietly, thinking the events of the past over.
She whispered, somewhat afraid, “...Red?”
Red kept his forehead rested on the door, his eyes were closed and he answered, “...Yeah?”
“I,” she said, “I’m so sorry...”
“Sorry for what?” Red asked solemnly. “You didn’t do anything...”
“That’s just it...I didn’t do anything.” She said, feeling guilt inch its way through her. Red turned slowly and looked at her. Her back was still to him. He responded slowly, “That’s because you couldn’t...no one could’ve stopped it from happening.”
“I feel like...” she trailed off. She shook her head and says, “...it hurts.” She held her chest, “...I feel like I was so helpless, I could only watch as she died right in front of me,” she put her head down and closed her eyes, “I couldn’t do a damned thing!”
She felt Red’s hand on her left shoulder, “Akari, don’t blame yourself. It wasn't your fault...” Red thought, “maybe it was meant to be this way.”
“What...?” Akari whispered quietly to herself. Those words, she had heard that same line before...a long time ago. “How can you say that?” she asked desperately, “How can you be so calm? Doesn’t her death mean anything to you?”
She turned and looked at him. She was surprised to see tears streaming down his face. He wore a faint comforting smile, “It did...and yes, it really does hurt.”
Akari frowned at him sadly. She threw her arms around him and held Red tightly. They stood like that, one comforting the other in their grief. “Why?” Akari whispered, “Why do you have to smile in a time like this?”
“Because,” Red said softly, “Smiles can really go a long way...even if you have to force it...theres something about a gentle smile that can really help in a time like this. Even if it hurts to try and smile, as long as it can help someone you care about, it’s a good thing.”
“It’s dumb...” Akari said finally, “It won’t help you if you’re forcing it. Why can’t you think about yourself for once? Why do you always have to care so much?”
“Because,” Red said, “That’s what friends are for...”
“...Friends?” Akari lets go and looks him in the eyes, “You really think I’m your friend? After all the times you and I argued? I was always so mean to you...and you still think I’m a friend?”
Red smiled faintly at her and nodded, “Yeah...I think of you and I as something like Brother and Sister. We fight with each other all the time, but in the end...when it matters, we still care about each other. You, Marin and I, we were all friends...maybe even something like a family.”
“Family...?” Akari looked away. “How could you say something like that?”
Red went silent. Akari struggled not to even let a single tear drop. She had never cried in all these years and she wasn’t going to start now, “Family?” she whispered to herself. This pained her all the more. She knew she was to kill him later...She knew it was her duty.
Akari felt Red’s hand hold her’s. He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze.
She felt angry, her emotions overcame her. “How could you...?” she repeated, she felt like she knew exactly what was going on, “You liar...” she yanked her hand away from him, “I know what you’re trying to do!” she pushed him away angrily. Red looked confused. Akari lets a tear fall and yells, “You’re taking advantage of me! You pig! Messing with my emotions like this! Who could like me? I’m an evil bitch and you know it! No one could possibly like me. I was always so cold, so uncaring. I’ve never given a damn for anyone but myself! I’ve never had a family, and I don’t need one!”
Red just stared at her, “...Akari.”
“No!” she shouted, “Don’t say anything! I know what’s going on now...you and Marin...you both had something. I was always in the background, watching...but never being able to figure you two out. I felt something for you...I’m sure I did. I could never get the words out, though...It always gets screwed around and comes out as something cruel. It’s my damn pride.”
She holds herself and looks at him with pained eyes, “No one ever liked me...people despised me just because of what I am...”
“What are you talking about?” Red questioned, sincerely worried about Akari’s breakdown; She was never like this before. She was always so calm and collective. Seeing her like this, lost and filled with sorrow, Red never knew. He saw this as glimpse of the real her. Of the things she kept inside...
Akari shakes her head. If he knew...if he knew what was in her blood. If he knew what was coursing through her veins right that moment, he would hate her as well. She couldn’t stand to be hated, to be an outcast, “No...I can’t tell you.”
“...Why not?” Red asked. Akari turned away and looked down at Marin’s serene face. Marin’s face was beautiful; her face was perfect in every way. It was natural.
Akari thought about her own face. Hers was beautiful as well...but it was artificial beauty, surgery was performed on her to give her the perfect figure, the perfect face. She felt like she was a plastic doll.
Akari looked at Marin with envy. Marin had all these features; she was born with it all.
“Why can’t you tell me?” Red asked again. Akari clenched her fists. She was a mess now; her emotions were running through her. She felt sad, angry, confused and envious all at once. It began to make her feel sick.
“Because,” was Akari’s reply, “because, if you knew, you’ll hate me, too...”
Red looked at her, he wanted to help her, “I won’t...”
Akari shook her head, “Everyone says that, and as soon as they knew, they’ll treat me like some kind of monster. Please, don’t ask...”
Red nodded slowly. Akari closed her eyes, she was still facing Marin. Akari then felt Red’s arms around her. She said, “Don’t...don’t touch me, Red.”
Red’s arms didn’t move, they stayed as they were, wrapped protectively around her. Akari cried, “Why...why do you care so much? What’s in it for you?”
“I care because,” Red began.
Marin’s voice said, “That’s what friends are for, silly...”
Red and Akari looked up at Marin as she began to sit up.
Red and Akari froze in shock. Marin turned to them and smiled faintly, “Isn’t that right, Red?”
“Y-You’re...” Red stuttered.
“Alive?!” Akari exclaimed.
Marin blinked, “Yeah...why wouldn’t I be?” Red looked at her for a moment, trying to make sense of everything, “But you were...I mean, the heart...you DIED! We saw you DIE!”
Marin looked at him as if he were crazy, “I was dead...? But, I thought you guys saved me, didn’t you? I remember the doctors...weren’t they the ones that revived me?”
Akari shook her head, “They didn’t know how to treat the wound...and you had heart failure.”
Marin took all of this in, “I don’t get it, then how am I alive? It’s not like I’m immortal or anything.” She looks from Red to Akari, “And, one more thing,” she points, “did something happen?”
Red and Akari blinked, not knowing what she was talking about. At that time, they looked down and realized that they were holding hands. They instantly let go and put their hands in their respective pockets.
Marin giggled, “I always thought you two would make a great couple.”
Akari and Red turned...red. They both blushed profusely, “N-no!” Akari stammered, “Me? And THIS idiot?!” she points at him and says, “I would never! I’m allergic to idiocy!”
Red looked offended, “What?! What’s wrong with me? I’d be flattered if I were you!”
Marin laughed, “See? You’re just like those old couples at the retirement homes, always arguing!”
“Just stop,” Akari said, “you’re making me sick.”
“Look...” Marin suddenly said, her tone changes into a serious semi-depressed state. She looked down and put a hand on her chest, “I want to thank you two.” She looked back up at her friends, “I guess I took you guys for granted, you know? I never realized how close we all are. And, after everything that happened, up till now...it just proves it. You guys really care about me, and I want to thank you guys for that.”
“It...It was nothing, really...” Red said, “Just so long as you’re alive...and not dead...like you were...thirty minutes ago...”
Akari glanced at Red. They both knew something was up. This was all wrong. She was supposed to be dead.
Marin looked down and blinked. She looked up at her friends and asked, “Where’s my Goron Ruby?”
“Goron Ruby...?” Red began, “I thought...”
Akari’s eyes widened. She had noticed something strange about one of the doctors. Especially the blond female one, she was way too young compared to the others.
She must’ve been the one who stole it! The three looked at each other and shouted at the same time, “The doctors!!!”
Sakura was on the other side of town, sitting on the edge of a roof, letting her feet dangle. She had left a little note in front of the trio’s door. If things go according to plan, then it’ll all end in a few days. She tossed the Goron Ruby up and down, catching it and tossing it back up playfully. She swung her legs lazily, enjoying the breeze.
She placed Marin’s Ruby around her neck and smiled.
She glanced at three cans placed to her right. They were arranged next to each other all the way on the other side of the roof top.
Sakura drew her revolver, twirled it once as half of the Triforce of Courage glowed in her hand. She fired, knocking out the left most can off the perch and into the air. She fired four more times, juggling the can further away from the roof before twirling her revolver once and firing again, causing the now thinned out can to shatter in midair.
Sakura blew smoke off the heated barrel and twirled the gun again before re-holstering the weapon.
She spoke with a grin, “One down, and two to go...” she giggled, turning her view towards the sunlight.
It was such a beautiful day.
Rain. The rain seemed to have come from nowhere. Fall had long ended and it was time for the winter to sink in.
Akari muttered as the three once again trekked across the sidewalk. The three all had their brown cloaks on, the hoods up, “Sylph...when I get my hands on that old hag, I’ll...” a cold wind blows, interrupting her, “Is it just me, or did it get colder than it should?”
Marin shivers, “Yeah, I thought that was kinda odd. It was nice and sunny only a few hours ago...”
“Must be one of those ‘Summer Showers’...” Red replied in a thoughtful way. Akari raised a brow, “But its winter...”
“I know.” Red responded. And they left it at that. Marin holds herself as she strolled along with her friends, she couldn’t help but feel different without that pendent around her neck. She felt as if a part of her were missing.
Red noticed, “Are you doing alright?” he asked.
Marin turned to him quickly and nodded reassuringly, “Yea, why wouldn’t I be?”
“...Because your pendent is gone? You know...the one you never ever take off?” Akari cuts in.
Marin looks down sadly. Red gives Akari an angry look.
Akari thought about this and says, “Sorry...I wasn’t thinking clearly. It’s just a really bad habit that I have...”
Marin doesn’t reply.
Meanwhile, Sakura was working on her preparations. She was inside a prestigious building. This was a place for the rich to stay. Fortunately she had enough money earned from her questionable jobs to rent out the best room of the establishment. She used her alias, Sylph.
Red, Akari, and Marin arrived at the hotel a few hours later. It was a far walk and they were already feeling the fatigue beginning to sink in.
Thunder shook the backdrop. Marin jumped in surprise, letting out a yelp.
Red looks at her, “You’re afraid of thunder?”
Marin recovers herself and shakes her head, “No...I like the rain. It calms you down and stuff...well, that’s what daddy says. The thunder just caught me by surprise, that’s all...”
“That’s because the storm is closer now. The times between the lightening and thunder have gone down dramatically since the rain started...I’d guess that the storm is only a few miles away now.” Akari explained.
“That’s nice and all, but can we please go inside?” Red asked.
Inside, the main lounge was lavishly decorated. Akari whistled in astonishment. The three removed their hoods. Akari looked around, “...Wow, Sylph must be a really rich lady...”
“It doesn’t matter, she stole my pendent. And I’m getting it back.” Marin walks forward towards the man standing in the check-in counter. Akari crossed her arms, “That’s why we’re here, isn’t it?” Red looked at her and sighed, “Don’t ruin the moment, okay?”
Akari shrugged, “Sorry, but I can’t stand dramatic crap. I think, instead of asking the guy at the counter, we go and kick down every door, and see which one has Sylph. Then, before she has a chance to talk in her annoying half assed voice, we beat the shit out of her and take all her stuff.”
Red raised a brow, “Isn’t that a bit much? Plus, that doesn’t sound very Sheikah-ish to me...”
Akari looked at Red, startled, “What are you...”
Red spoke, “That move you pulled back at the alley...that’s the Harpy’s Kiss, right? That’s a move taught to Sheikah female assassins. I’ve seen it enough times already.”
“Oh.” Was Akari’s dumbfounded answer; she wasn’t expecting this and felt stupid for letting her guard down. It was such an amateur mistake.
Red asked, “What I want to know is how you learned that move.”
“I’m...I’m a Runaway Nin.” Akari replied.
“Runaway...” Red repeated to himself.
“Hey!” Marin called out to them, trotting over to the others. Her voice snapped both of them back to reality.
“What is it?” Red asked.
“Uhm,” Marin began, “Sylph rented out a room for us in advance...The Presidential Sweep.” She held out a key for them to see.
“She what?” Akari asked, surprised.
“Why? Why meet there?” Red questioned.
Marin shrugged, “I don’t know...It feels like a trap. Should we go?” Akari nodded, “Of course it’s a trap. We all knew that from the moment we found that note. At least, I hope we all did.”
Red and Marin looked at each other and nodded slowly, “Yea, we did...it’s just still surprising, that’s all. It’s a really expensive trap, if you asked me.” Marin said.
“Marin. Akari...” Red said in a hushed whisper. They looked at him. He showed them his Triforce piece. His half of the Triforce of Courage was resonating strongly in its green light. He could also feel Zelda's ring warming up slightly as well. But, it could've been his imagination.
Marin looked down to see her Triforce of Wisdom responding as well. But its bluish glow wasn’t nearly as strong as Red’s.
Without another word exchanged, the trio ran towards the stairs leading up to the Presidential Sweep.
Sakura sat in the room the threesome was headed for. She was sitting on the railing of the balcony, her back to the door. The rain had turned into a slight trickle, but lightening seared the dark skies with the same intensity as it had during the past downpour.
Strapped to her side, was her gun, Rapidfire, sister revolver to Trent's Wildfire.
She had long noticed her half of the Triforce of Courage glowing. She could see it glow brighter and brighter with each passing second. She smiled, “Come and get me, Ken-kun.”
Reminisciary by Red Sparrow
The three stood in front of a door. They knew that on the other side, ‘Sylph’ was waiting for them.
“Stand back.” Red said and prepared to kick down the door.
Marin pulled out the key, “Shouldn’t we use...”
Akari stood beside him and they both lurched forward before Marin could finish. They kick down the door, causing it to fly forward into the room with a loud thud. Red and Akari storm in, swords drawn, Marin shrugged and strolled in after them.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” a man shouted angrily. “Get Out!!” a woman yelled. “...Omigosh! I’m so sorry!” Akari cried out.
The disturbed trio immediately bolted out of the room and down the hallway, they came to a halt after a bit of running.
Akari looked at Red and slapped him hard in the back of the head, “What the hell is wrong with you?!” Red grabbed his head and turned to Akari angrily.
Marin ignored their arguing and looked at the door in front of them carefully. She pulled out the key, placed it into the keyhole and turned it slowly, unlocking the door. Upon seeing this, Red and Akari go silent and redrew their weapons. They all look at each other and nod. Marin slowly pushes open the door. The lights were off, but you could clearly see a young fifteen year old girl sitting on the balcony’s railing. Her bright yellow hair waved in the breeze. The rain had stopped and the clouds parted, letting the moonlight shine upon her.
“You came.” She said, without turning around. Akari asked suspiciously, “You’re Sylph? But, you’re supposed to be older...way older.” Red stayed quiet. He had a bad feeling. Something was telling him to run away.
“Of course,” the girl said, “don’t you know what ‘Sylph’ means?”
Red spoke, “An elemental being of the wind...or,” the girl and Red said at once, “A graceful girl.”
The girl nodded, “Doesn’t that name bring back memories, Ken-kun? Doesn’t it make you want to think back? Does it make you remember everything you’ve done seven years ago?”
Akari and Marin stay quiet. The two girls glanced at each other nodded, they had a plan. Red demanded, “Who are you?! How do you know all this? ...How do you know my name!?...”
“You know exactly who I am. Don’t deny it.” She turned around, revealing her face. Sakura smiled, “It’s been a long time. I missed you ever so much, Ken.”
She examines the threesome and says, “What a colorful group you all are, Ketchup-head, the Blond Spazz, and the Chick with Bigger Nuts than a Horse.”
Akari, enraged, gritted her teeth and said, “What did you say?!”
“Oh, and she’s deaf, too.” Sakura hops off the railing and onto the balcony, she leans back against the rail, “Should I call you ‘Red’? ‘Akai’? Or how about ‘Crimson’? It doesn’t matter, does it? Because no matter how many names you come up with, you won’t ever be able to bury the one you’re born with, Ken-kun.”
“You’re...alive?” Red asked, paralyzed by the realization that his sister still lives. Sakura nodded, “Quite a shocker isn’t it? You might have been able to kill mother and father, but you couldn’t kill me.”
Marin spoke quietly, “Red...who is she? Is she your ex-girlfriend or something?” Akari looked at her and sighed, “She’s his sister, Retard.”
Sakura grinned, strolling forward, off the balcony and into the room. She stopped in the walkway, between the two glass doors. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. I’ve sacrificed everything for this moment.”
“Sacrifice...?” Red inquired.
Sakura slowly drew her revolver, causing the trio to instantly go on guard. “Yes,” Sakura spoke, snapping the chamber open. “I’ve used my cunning to hunt down the sinners of society and send them to hell. I’ve even...” Sakura paused, loading the bullets in one by one. She stopped when she had three bullets.
She glanced onto the floor for a moment before looking at Red with ice-blue eyes, “I’ve even sold my own body for the money to hunt you down.”
The three looked shocked; a girl of fifteen had willingly sold her virginity for cash. Red shook his head slowly, “No...I don’t believe any of this...I saw you die...”
“No,” Sakura said coldly, “If I had died, I wouldn’t be standing here before you. If I had died, I wouldn’t have sacrificed every meaningful thing I had JUST to stand here tonight. If I had died, no one would be able to avenge the murder of our—MY family!”
“Sakura, listen, it wasn’t...” Red began, but his sister shouted, “Silence!! I don’t want to hear any excuses! I didn’t wait for this moment just to hear you tell more of your lies! I came here to kill you!”
Her deadly gaze went from Red to Akari, then to Marin. Sakura grinned, the hand holding the revolver twitched, causing the chamber to snap shut. “You...” she pointed to Marin with her free hand, “You want this, don’t you?” she placed a hand on Marin’s Pendent around her neck. Marin nodded slowly.
Sakura twirled her revolver, “I see you’ve survived our last encounter. My aim must’ve have been a bit off, but now I have a clear shot of you.”
“If you try anything,” Akari threatened, “your life is forfeit.”
“Ah,” Sakura smirked, “The Sheikah. You’re an awful bit loud for an assassin. I’ve done research on you.”
Red looked at Akari, causing her to look away.
Sakura quickly shot Marin an evil grin, “This time, I won’t miss!”
She aimed high at Marin’s head and pulled the trigger, sending a bullet hurtling towards her. Marin didn’t flinch as the bullet collided with a previously invisible blue barrier. Akari and Marin had secretly conjured up a shield while Red and Sakura were speaking.
As soon as the barrier parted, the trio rushed Sakura to try to disarm her of her weapon.
Akari was the one who noticed first, she tried to skid to a stop, but it was too late. Another spell circle sprung up as Marin tripped the wire hidden in shadow right in front of them. They had literally run into the trap. This was the reason for the lack of lighting.
“Damn!” Akari cursed, frustrated for falling into the same trap twice, “Another fucking barrier!”
The three backed up into each other as the barrier began to close in on them.
“This is new...” Red muttered as the electrical barrier began to shrink with each passing second.
“I’ve got a plan!” Akari said. The others turned to her, “First, Red you...” she was interrupted by gunfire. She grabbed her chest and collapsed to the floor as the bullet struck, “Akari!” Marin and Red yelled. Another gunshot and Marin falls. Red turns to face his sister. Sakura smirks and pulls the trigger.
The sound of water trickling down and hitting the hard, black cobblestone echoed throughout the darkness. Sitting there, in the dark and listening to that sound for too long, it would surely result in insanity.
“Marin...” Akari’s voice sounded, breaking the killer silence. Marin groaned and slowly opened her eyes. Everything in this place was completely black to her, “What...? Where...?”
“We’re in some kind of dungeon. That bitch hit us with tranqs.”
“...Dungeon...” Marin whispered breathlessly. She panicked and began to squirm wildly. It was then that she realized she was tied up. Her legs were chained together. She could feel Akari chained with her. They were sitting back to back; their hands behind their backs were inter-chained with one another’s.
Marin cried out, “No!! Let me out!” she cried. Her fears coming back to haunt her in full force, Akari said quickly, trying her best to calm Marin down, “Marin! Get a hold of yourself! Relax!”
Marin shook her head quickly as tears fell, “I don’t want to be here...I don’t like the dark...I don’t like this place!!!”
She sobbed out of control and began to struggle harder. Akari yelled at her, “Marin!! I’m here! Don’t worry, ok? Just don’t panic!”
“I can’t, I can’t...” Marin cried, “I don’t want to be back here...!”
Sakura smirked, “So, what do you think? The perfect setting for our final duel, don’t you agree?” Red and his sister were in a church of some sort. The rain had returned, splattering against the colorful tinted glass windows. Each window of the church was decorated as a montage for each of the Goddesses. This place was lit by candles scattered throughout the area.
Red had regained consciousness a while back. He now began to feel strong enough to stand as the effects of the drug began to wear itself out.
“What is this place?” he asked as he stood. He had no chains to keep him down. He rubbed the side of his neck. The place the tranquilizer dart had struck. Sakura spun once on the tip of her toe, looking around at the church, “This is the Reminisciary. This place was built in remembrance of the Goddesses, the creators of this world.”
She glanced at the windows and said, “We’re on the second floor. This place is called the ‘Katharos Imperium’, The Pure Realm. This is the place where prisoners are given a second chance, in exchange for a simple vow to the Goddesses. A vow to be loyal to one’s Kingdom.” She pauses, “It makes you wonder if it was originally that way...or perhaps the vow was changed to guarantee absolute loyalty to the Royal Family?” she smiles, “No one can know for sure...it has all been buried in the past.”
She shakes her head at the thought, “Long ago, this place was the most cherished building of this kingdom, but soon...like everything else, it became corrupted. Did you know that, built two stories below our feet, is a dungeon for keeping political prisoners?”
She stomped her feet onto the tiled floor and said, “Ironic isn’t it? A place for hope and worship has a dirty secret buried deep below. It reminds me of us.” She gives Red a cold look, “We each had our secrets...dark secrets that we kept from each other.” She glanced at the Triforce glowing inside her hand.
Red shook his head slowly, “Sakura...I didn’t do it. You’ve got to believe me.”
She ignores him and continues to talk, “Here, at the very definition of ‘Irony’, we shall fight. You and I, Brother and Sister, Shadow and Light! Together, we will finally end this sibling rivalry once and for all. For the greatest prize of all time...” she raised her hand with the Triforce piece. “The victor will get the loser’s Piece of the Triforce! And finally become complete!”
Lightening lit up the church, followed by thunder.
“Marin! Listen to me!” Akari said, trying to calm a fearful Marin down, “I’m right here with you. Can’t you feel me? I’m right behind you.” Maneuvering her hand, Akari managed to hold Marin’s trembling hand, “See? I’m right here. Just breathe, okay?” Marin slowly stopped squirming.
“I-I can’t breathe...” Marin whimpered, tears streaming down her face, “I can’t...”
Akari gave her hand a squeeze and said in a gentle voice, “Just calm down...this is your chance, Marin...this is your chance to get over this fear of yours.”
“I don’t want to...I just want to get out.” Marin said in a whisper, moving her head to wipe her tears on her shoulder.
“We will, don’t worry...we’ll get out together.” Akari said reassuringly, “Just breathe calmly, if it helps, keep your eyes closed. Are you keeping your eyes closed?”
Marin nodded slowly, “I-I am...but...it doesn’t make a difference...its dark...”
Akari knew this, they couldn’t see a thing, “Don’t worry...I’m here for you, ok? Just relax and listen to my voice.”
“O-okay...” Marin said in a shaky tone. Akari spoke in the tenderest voice she could muster, “Now, I need you to do exactly what I say, okay, Marin?”
Marin stayed silent. Akari asked again, “Okay, Marin?”
Marin replied in a scared voice, “Okay...”
Akari continued, “Now, take a deep breath.” Marin does so. Akari says, “Alright, now I need you to...”
“...Stand up!” Sakura yelled as she kicked a downed Red in the ribs, Red rolled to his feet and stumbled back against the wall.
Red held his ribs with one hand and held his sword with the other. Sakura stared at him, “Why...? Why won’t you fight me?!” she demanded, gripping her smoking revolver tightly. The church was littered with slash marks and bullet holes. Red looked up at her and says, “I lost you once...I can’t bring myself to lose you again.”
“What are you talking about?!” Sakura shouted, “Defend yourself, dammit!”
Red limped towards her.
“Get away!” She pointed her revolver and him and pulled the trigger. The gun clicked as the empty chamber turned. Sakura pulls the trigger again and again, tears streaming down her face. She kept trying to fire with no bullets until Red reached her and grabbed her wrist.
Sakura puts her head down and sobs, “This...this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. We were supposed to fight...it was supposed to be the perfect duel...I trained for seven years for this...sold my life for this chance. Why are you taking the only thing I’m looking forward to away? Why can’t you let me be happy?”
“Because this isn’t what you want.” Red said. “No...” Sakura murmured, she closed her eyes tightly, and screamed, “You don’t know me!!!” she swung with her free hand and slapped him hard across the face.
The slap echoed throughout the church.
Red had his head turned from the slap. He turned his head back to look at her. Her imprint was on the side of his face.
Sakura struggled for a moment to free her wrist, “Let go!” she yelled.
She swung at Red again, but this time, Red drops the sword and catches the attack by the wrist. She screamed in frustration and plants her foot on his chest. She kicks him away towards the tinted window, successfully freeing herself. She reaches quickly into the pouch strapped to her leg and pull out a single bullet; she slides it into the chamber and snaps it shut. At that time, Red had recovered his balance. He looked up and found that Sakura had gone missing.
He heard a click coming from behind and quickly turned to find himself staring into the barrel of a loaded revolver. Staring death in the face like this...it paralyzed him. Sakura shouts, “I may not have had the fight I wanted, but I’ll still be able to kill you!”
She pulls the trigger.
Red flinches, but nothing else happened. Sakura gave out a confused look.
They both look to see a shuriken planted firmly between the hammer of the revolver and the chamber. Instead of striking the bullet, the hammer strikes the ninja star.
They both turn to see Marin and Akari standing by the stairs all the way across the room. The room was very wide, enough to fit two hundred people. Akari lowered her hand and smiled. She still had the skills she was famous for.
Sakura, filled with anger, yanks the ninja star out and aims the revolver towards Akari.
Red sees this and instantly springs into action, grabbing for the revolver. Marin and Akari spring forward to help. Red manages to keep the revolver pointed to the ceiling; he pulls the trigger, firing the only bullet. The bullet strikes the chains, holding the pendent around Sakura's neck. The Goron's Ruby falls and lands onto the floor. The two siblings stumble backwards against the tinted window depicting the three goddesses, Din, Nayru, and Farore, holding their own piece of the Triforce in their hearts.
Red manages to pry the gun away from Sakura.
He looks up to see Sakura launch a sidekick at him. Her kick hits him dead-center in the chest, sending Red shattering through the windowpane. The rain and lightening make themselves known.
Sakura reaches forward and grabs for the revolver. She succeeded, but also succeeds in saving Red. He was still holding onto the gun.
Sakura glared and drew a knife, she swings down and stabs him in the arm, causing Red to let go. Sakura rolls away from the edge as Akari dives for Red, extending her left hand towards him while holding a kunai knife with the other. Red manages to grab her hand, temporarily stopping his fall.
Then, to his dismay, they both began to slip over the edge. Akari slams her knife into the floor to stop their fall, but the knife snaps, leaving the blade impaled into the floor as Akari was left with the now useless handle.
Sakura backs up and reloads her gun. She watches as Marin dives after the two, grabbing Akari’s leg just as she goes over. Marin looks around quickly and grabs onto the blade with her bare hands, finally stopping their fall. She winced as blood began to drip.
“You guys alright?” she asked between gritted teeth. Akari responded, “Yea! Pull us up!” Marin shook her head, “I can’t!”
There was a click that caught the trio’s attention.
Sakura smirked; she could kill all three with one bullet through Marin’s head. She aimed. Marin closed her eyes and screamed.
“Red!” Akari shouted. “I know!” Red shouted back over the rain. Red turns his head and yanks the knife Sakura impaled into his arm by the handle with his teeth. Grunting, Akari helps Red swing up and back towards the edge.
Before his feet hits the ground, Red quickly draws the knife from his mouth and throws it as hard as he could towards Sakura.
She pulls the trigger a split second after the knife strikes her in the shoulder.
The bullet misses and grazes Red on the cheek, drawing blood.
Sakura stumbles backwards and holds her shoulder. She looked surprised that she had missed.
With the added weight of Red removed, Marin manages to pull Akari back up to safety.
The three then turn to watch Sakura limp backwards towards the stairs, “This isn’t over!” she shouted and turned to run down the stairs.
Akari ran forward, but Red blocks her with an outstretched arm. Akari looks at him, “We shouldn’t let her go!” Red shakes his head, “It’s alright...”
Marin holds her stomach as she knelt down to pick up her Ruby. Worried, Red asks, “Are you alright?”
Marin shakes her head and looks them both in the eyes before saying, “I...I’m hungry.”
Silence settled in as the rain faded, Akari’s voice echoes through the church house, “...WHAT?!?”
This Angel Never Cries by Red Sparrow
“This Angel Never Cries”
“Red...” Akari asked as she watched Marin treat Red’s injury. Marin had successfully managed to eliminate the blood flowing from the wound in his arm. His shirt was folded on the floor of the church cobblestone lined walkway. Red winced as she dabbed the wound with a medicine tipped Q-tip. Marin said softly, “Sorry.”
Red looked up at Akari, “What is it...?”
They had to stay inside Reminisciary Church due to the recurring storm. They no longer had a place to stay anyway. The room they had in the small inn was already rebooked by some other traveling party.
The trio was resting on the first floor, where the windows were still able to shield them from the storm. The squall was unstable, stopping for a few moments before returning with full force. Small stains of blood led from the stairs to the door leading outside. Those were Sakura’s.
“Your sister, why did you let her go?” Akari asked.
Red went silent before saying, “...what am I supposed to do? Kill her?”
“Of course not...” Akari said, “But we can’t just let her go, either. She’ll only keep hunting you. You wounded her, too...she’s outside somewhere with a knife in her arm.”
Lightening lit up the church, followed by the roar of thunder.
The trio went silent at that thought.
“Done.” Marin said and stepped away from him. Red looks at his bandaged arm. He stretches the ligament for a few seconds before reaching for his shirt.
“That pendent,” Marin suddenly said, “what is it? Your sister...she had one, too. It looked like those two pieces go together.”
Red puts on his shirt. He then looked from Akari and back to Marin, “Since my sister appears, everyone wants to suddenly know everything about me. Is that it?”
Marin looked down. Akari said sternly, “Don’t be like that, Red! She was only worried for you. I’m worried about you, too.”
“Since when did you care about anyone?!” Red shouted at her. Akari went silent. She was taken aback by Red’s sudden outburst. Everyone in that room could feel their ties with each other severing. They went from friends to strangers once more.
Each one felt themselves drifting away. It was terrible feeling.
“I’m...” Red began.
“It’s alright.” Akari said, standing up and picking up her belongings. She looked him in the eyes. A faint trace of hurt flashed in her face, “I don’t care.” She walked to the other side of the church, sitting down by herself in one of the many rows of seats.
Marin looked from Akari to Red. She said slowly, “I’m sorry about what happened, Red.”
“It’s not anyone else’s problem. It’s mine. You guys shouldn’t go snooping into other people’s business.” He said to her firmly.
“Red...” Marin said, struggling not to raise her voice, “We’re in this together, whether anyone likes it or not. We’ve all been dragged into this, stop thinking like you’re the only one in the world with problems! Don’t be so selfish!”
With that, she turned and headed towards Akari.
Red watched as they both quietly exchanged a few words.
Akari scoots over in her seat and Marin sits beside her.
Red looks down.
His hand instinctively went to his heart pendent. He runs his thumb over the smooth black surface. He felt alone once again.
Sakura was huddled under a shop’s rafter. The metal framework was the only thing protecting her from the harsh rain. Even so, it still wasn’t keeping the wind blown rain and debris from her.
Her arm was bandaged tightly. Unlike her brother, she had to perform it on herself in the rain.
She wrapped herself in her brown cloak tightly, hugging her knees. She shivered from the intense freezing rain.
She was used to this by now. It’s like what she had been doing for years. Although she had money, she had lived in poverty, earning a few thousand rupees from bounties and a few extra hundred from selling herself to men.
She usually goes through those rupees rather fast, often buying food and getting a nice place to stay. Then, following those quick moments of semi-bliss, she’d go broke and would have to work once more.
She was fifteen, causing her to stand out more and making it easier to earn those hundreds. She also had an ability to feign innocence. This was what she employed to the fullest when dealing with the wanted rogues.
“I was so close.” she whispered under all the rain and thunder. She let a tear drop, although it was impossible to tell as the rain runs down her face.
Sakura gritted her teeth, closing her eyes tightly. She screams in frustration. She was angry at herself for being so clumsy, she was overconfident. She had thought things through too rashly.
Her trembling hand went to her half of the heart pendent. Her thumb runs over the smooth white surface. She wiped rain from her miserable face. She whispered to herself, determined to never show any weakness ever again, “This angel never cries...” she rested her forehead on her knees and shivered, “Never.”
A Matter of Conscience by Red Sparrow
“A Matter of Conscience”
“Akari!” Marin’s voice rang out. Akari jolted awake. She sat up quickly, drawing the knife from under the covers; she had been sleeping in the front row of the church aisles. The hard wooden seat made her sore all over.
The first thing she noticed was Marin’s panicky face. The second thing she noticed was the light filtering through the stain glass windows.
Sensing no danger, she re-sheathed the knife into the scabbard strapped on the left side of her hip, she mumbled, rubbing the sleep from her eyes, “What is it?”
Marin hardly gave Akari enough time to finish before grabbing her wrist, yanking her out of the seat and onto her feet, “He’s gone!” Marin exclaimed. Akari, now fully awake, shouted, “…Dammit, Red!!!”
The two trekked out of the church and into the sun; everyone was awake by now, walking through the wide open streets. Marin had worry creased over her face, while Akari had a frustrated one.
Akari grumbled angrily, “Damn idiot…what the hell is wrong with him? I can’t even get a decent nap without him forcing me to look after his stupid ass…making me wake up at…”
“One o’clock.” Marin said.
Akari stares ahead, “One o’clock on a…” “…Saturday.” Marin replied.
“Saturday.” Akari continued before turning her anger driven face towards Marin.
Marin, not wanting to be the one Akari releases her rage on, decided to stay quiet.
Red stepped out of the boundaries of the Kingdom of Aria. He was in an open field. He turned back to look at the bright and rich realm behind him. He figured his friends were probably awake by now. It didn’t matter, though. He wanted to take care of Link by himself. It was how he started out, and it was how he was going to end it. Alone.
He reached the woods and hesitated before entering. He looked around. This place was eerily silent. He glanced at the ring on his finger and muttered, “Zelda, what do you think? Is this right?” he shook his head and kept walking, entering the woods.
He didn’t expect an answer, and didn’t receive one. He sighed. He knew she could hear him, but they couldn’t talk to each other…he wondered how she even managed to contact him in the first place. Something about sleep…but then, why was it only a once in a lifetime thing? He could’ve just snoozed a bit, right?
Whatever the problem was, he couldn’t ask Zelda now. He felt bad for her…trapped for all eternity, reliving the same events towards her ‘death’ over and over again.
Maybe he’ll be able to free her soon…he hoped he could.
He looked up and realized that he stood in front of a shiny lake. He smiled.
His grandfather, Trent, would always hang out by the lake.
The lake was beautiful, yet…it had some sort of sinister aura to it. As if it was tainted by something that happened so long ago…
“Watch the camp. I’m going for a little drink.” Derek, the prince of Aria said as he walked through the bushes and headed for the lake.
Derek was a likable fellow, kind and generous. He was also quite timid. But he could be forceful when need be.
They had just returned from a war to liberate some nearby towns from the last remains of Ganon’s past rule.
He reached the edge and knelt down on one knee. Scooping up a handful of water, he splashed it across his face to wash the dreariness away. He heard a rustle and quickly looked over his shoulder and at the bushes.
He stared for awhile before shrugging it off and glancing back into the lake. He saw something odd. It looked like a strange form of some sort. Curious, he leaned in closer to the surface.
It was then that he realized that this was someone’s face. His eyes widened as a hand broke through the surface of the water and grabbed him by the throat. Derek instinctively clawed at the hand in a futile attempt to get away; the face broke through the surface, revealing Link. More specifically, Shadow Link.
Link tightened his grip on Derek’s neck. Derek couldn’t breathe nor think straight.
Everything began to fade. He heard a voice; it was Link’s, “Please forgive me…I had to do this.”
…Red reached the edge and knelt down on one knee. Scooping up a handful of water, he splashed it across his face to wash the dreariness away. He heard a rustle and quickly looked over his shoulder and at the bushes.
He stared for awhile before shrugging it off and glancing back into the lake. He saw something odd. It looked like a strange form of some sort. Curious, he leaned in closer to the surface.
It was then that he realized that this was the reflection of someone’s face. “Sakura…” he muttered. And heard the tell-tale click of her revolver. She was standing behind him; Sakura had the barrel pressed against the back of Red’s skull.
“Surprised?” Sakura said, “I told you it wasn’t over.”
Red scoffed, realizing his own stupidity, “…I guess I let my guard down, sis.”
“Don’t ‘sis’ me,” she replied sharply, “You’re not worthy of calling me ‘sis’.” She lifted the revolver away from Red’s head. He knew this was his cue to stand.
He stands and turns to face his sister. They both felt the Triforce of Courage radiated within of them. “I didn’t think I’d see you so soon…” Red muttered.
“Well, here I am…” she twirled her revolver. “Before…” she thought for a moment, “Before, at the church…if you didn’t…” she trailed off.
“…I didn’t kill them…” he said sternly, “It wasn’t…”
“-That’s all I needed to hear.” Sakura said, “If you’re expecting me to believe you just because you said so, you must not know people too well.”
“Then what? You’re going to keep trying to kill me?” he asked. She thought for a moment, “I…I saw you with my own eyes…those same red eyes you have. Everything…” she looked at him carefully, “What a stupid disguise…do you honestly think you could hide just by dying your hair red?”
“Well, it sorta happened by accident…long story.” He struggled to explain it.
“Long story…like how you dyed Grandpa Trent’s hair pink?” she questioned with a faint smirk. “I remember that!” he said, smiling, “But it was your idea! I always got in trouble because of you…”
They both laughed quietly.
Suddenly, they both realized the situation they were both in and turned serious.
Sakura stared at him, “How can you stay like this?” Red looked at her, “What do you mean?”
“You’re still the childish bozo, you were seven years ago…” she said.
“…I just…” he began.
“Hide it?” Sakura questioned, “Shield yourself from the real world by hiding behind the naivety of a childish mind?” she shook her head, “That can only take you so far…”
She turned and began walking away. Red called after her, “Wait! …where are you going?”
“…I have to think things through.” She stopped and looked over her shoulder, “Don’t think that this means I won’t ever come after you again, Ken. I just still need time to recover. Next time we meet…it’ll end.”
“It doesn’t have to…you could just believe me.” He said, “I know who the real killer is.”
“Who?” she said sharply
“His name is Link…” he responded.
“Link?” she repeated to herself. She shook her head, “That’s impossible…He’s the Hero of Time.”
“So you know about him?” Red inquired. Sakura turned away once more, “I’ve read about him. ‘Fallen Angel’…that’s his nickname…it inspired mine. He was supposed to be some hero who converted into darkness.”
Sakura stopped. She turned suddenly to see three knives fly out of the bushes and straight towards her. She twirls her revolver and deflects each knife by hitting them out of the air with the spin of her gun.
She turns to see Marin dash towards her, sword drawn. Sakura uses her free hand to block with her own sword; the two kept their weapons crossed. Sakura then sees Akari dash out of the bushes with two kunai knives, one in each hand.
Seeing this, Sakura simply tilts her head back to dodge one attack and presses the barrel against Akari’s forehead. Akari froze.
The three were locked in a standoff.
Sakura looked at Red from the corner of her eye, “You tricked me…this was all a set-up!” Sakura quickly backs up out of the stalemate and looks at Red with a look of disbelief, “I’ll kill you, Ken-kun, I swear it!”
She turned and ran off.
Akari turned to see Red standing there, an emotionless statue of sorts. Slowly, Red’s face contorted with anger, “Look what you’ve done!”
Akari, angered and tired of being yelled at, shouted, “Dammit, Red! The girl is trying to kill you! Get that through your thick skull! We saved you!”
“You two have made things even worse!” he turned away and trudged off, “Don’t follow me. I’m going alone, you got it?”
Marin just stared and looked to the ground; she said timidly, “We were just trying to help…please don’t walk away.” Red ignored her and disappeared into the bushes.
Akari puts a hand on her shoulder, “…Let’s follow him.” Marin looked at her, “But he said…” Akari shook her head, “Never mind what he said, he didn’t mean it.”
“How do you know?” Marin asked.
Akari smirked and pointed to her eyes, “It’s in his eyes. Let’s go.” She and Marin ran after the direction Red disappeared to. One couldn’t afford to lose a friend. The other couldn’t afford to lose sight of the target.
Erika's Tale: Butterfly Hairclip (Part One) by Red Sparrow
“Strange, isn’t it, Vale? Both our realities are buried within shadow. And you know what that means don’t you? It seems both forces must cooperate now. ‘Shadow’ and ‘Light’ must band together to rid our lands of these beings. I have a feeling that the Wind Waker will play an integral part in this. But it is best that we do not tell him of this, after all…he is still only a child.”
--Daphnes Nohanson Hyrule
“Erika’s Tale: Butterfly Hairclip (Part One)”
“So…where to next?” Marin asked.
Red muttered, “I said I’m going alone…”
Akari sighed, “Stop being so bitchy. Grow up, will you?” Red stopped suddenly, “…’Bitchy’? You think that I’m acting ’bitchy’? You have no idea how pissed off I am right now. Theres not a damn word in the world to describe it! You jump in, not knowing what the hell is going on, destroy the trust I was building with my sister, and you think I’ll forgive you…just like that?!”
Akari thought for a moment before saying, “Well, that was part of the idea.”
“We’ll just explain it to her next time we meet her…” Marin offered some solace.
Red just kept quiet. He shook his head and sighed.
After a few minutes of walking, Marin suddenly blurts out, “Guess what.”
Akari looks at her and asks, “What?”
“Windfall is coming up in a few miles.” Marin beamed. Akari visibly froze for a split second before saying, “Doesn’t matter, we aren’t going to Windfall.” Marin frowned and asked quickly, “Why not? It’s the fastest way to Hyrule! We’ll go through Windfall, end up at Peractio, then Kakariko, and finally, Hyrule!”
“…Peractio?” Red suddenly asked, “Never heard of that place before.”
“Oh, it’s…some other language…it means ‘End’…” she replied.
“Alright…fine. It’s Windfall.” Red declared. “No!” Akari shouted, getting their attention immediately, “We can go around…its better that way! We’ll go around and come through Lake Hylia.”
Marin shook her head, “No, that’ll mean we’ll have to cross the Gerudo Desert! We can’t go through there…not since that one Nabooru person came in charge. They hate outsiders! Besides, Windfall is a really nice place! You’ll love it there!”
“How should you know?” Akari countered. Marin smiled, “Because I was born there…”
Akari went silent, “Red…” Red shook his head, “She’s right, Windfall is faster. You should give that place a chance, why are you so against going there?”
Akari went quiet, “I just…don’t like it, that’s all.”
Red and Marin looked at each other.
Meanwhile, watching from a distance, hidden within the branches of a single tree, a man in Sheikah garb watched.
Akari felt his presence, she tensed up. Both the Sheikah and Akari were aware of the other. The Sheikah shook his head and leapt off the branches, disappearing into the woods to report.
“This is Windfall?” Red asked. Marin smiled nostalgically, “Yup. Peaceful, isn’t it?”
The town had it's own unique atmosphere that seemed to seperate it from the outside world. Perhaps it was the fog that hangs over this town and never goes away...
Akari stood at the entrance, “I’ll wait out here…you guys can pack up and we’ll keep moving.”
Marin frowned; she pulled on Akari’s arm, trying to get her to enter, “Please! I want to show you my old house!”
Akari shook her head, “No, just…go ahead without me…I told you already, I don’t like this place.” Marin pouted, “Please…”
“NO!!!” Akari yelled, causing Marin to jump in surprise. She instantly let go and backed away. Red and Marin looked at her worriedly. Akari shook her head and turned away, “Please…just do what you have to so we can leave this place.”
Red nodded slowly, “…Alright.” He began to walk into town; he stopped and called after Marin.
Marin stared at Akari for a moment, trying to figure her out. Red called again and Marin backed away from Akari before turning and running off to join Red.
Akari was left alone at the entrance. She turned back around and looked at the town. She clenched her fists as her mind wandered. After a few more minutes, she coached herself to step through the gates. It was time she reunited with people she knew from long ago.
A nine year old girl named Erika wandered through the narrow dark streets. She had short black hair with a pink butterfly hairclip in place. She wore plain clothes, the clothes the lower middleclass would wear. She also had a blue scarf around her neck. She wasn’t supposed to be here, yet she felt an urge to go. She had to prove herself.
People talked about this street. They said that once there was a killing here. A bunch of drifters from the destroyed town of Meldion met their deaths here…along with a maiden. It was said that this was the house the Fallen Angel, Link, had once resided. They say the ghosts of the slain men still haunt this part of town.
She was curious. She also had another motive. Before she stepped further, she felt a hand grab her shoulder. She screamed and turned around quickly. Facing her was her father, Richard.
“What are you doing here?” Richard demanded, “I told you before, this place is off limits for a reason!”
“Is it because of the ghosts?” Erika asked innocently. Richard sighs, “I’ve told you before. There are no such things as Ghosts, alright?”
Erika looked down in disappointment, “But…I wanted to see a ghost, Father!”
“Is it because of those kids?” Richard asked automatically, ignoring his daughter’s words.
Erika went silent for a moment as her mind conjured up an excuse, “…No.”
Richard shook his head, seeing through his daughter’s lie, “I don’t want you playing with those kids anymore. Understand?”
Erika frowned and made a sad face, “Why, Father? You always say that! You never want me to have any friends! I just want to have friends!”
Richard knelt beside his daughter and patted her on the head, “One day you’ll understand.”
“Father?” Erika asked, looking down at the ground, “I saw some of the other kid’s fathers giving them piggy back rides…can I-”
“No.” Richard said, “You’re not like them. Now come, your mother is worried sick about you. You have your first day of school tomorrow, and it’s already past your bedtime.”
Erika’s mother was named Jeoni, unlike Richard, she was a Gerudo. Because of the feelings this town harbors towards non-Hylians, she spends the majority of her time indoors. Luckily, Erika was born with Hylian ears, meaning she never stood out as much as her mother did. Even so, news spreads fast.
It was her idea to give her daughter an education. Unfortunately, she was unable to teach anything to Erika herself. Jeoni was forced to enroll Erika into school along with the other children.
The door opened and Jeoni looks up to see Erika run and jump onto her lap. Jeoni frowned, “Where were you?”
“I don’t know.” was Erika’s excuse. Jeoni glanced at Richard. He shook his head and smiled. She took this as a sign that all was well.
Erika asked quickly, “Tomorrow I’m going to school, right mother?”
“That’s right,” she replied, “I want you to put on your best behavior, alright ‘Rika?” ‘Rika’ was a little nickname for ‘Erika’. Erika nodded, “Don’t worry; I’m going to be the best person there! I’m going to get really smart and make you smile!”
Jeoni tried to keep the tears in and nodded, “Yes…make me proud.” Richard spoke up, “C’mon, Erika, off to bed with you.” Erika kissed her mother on the cheek before starting towards her room.
As the door to her room locked, Richard stepped forward and puts an arm around his troubled wife, “Jeoni…are you alright?”
Jeoni shakes her head, “…She’s so innocent. I’m starting to have doubts about sending her to school with the other children…everyone knows what she is except her. They’ll treat her horribly. I don’t think this place is right for her.”
Richard smiled reassuringly, “Don’t worry too much…”
Jeoni looked at him and said in a desperate voice, “I don’t want to stay here anymore. I don’t want to be reduced to living in fear everyday. I want us to go elsewhere…far away from here and give our daughter a better life than this.”
“It’ll pass…” Richard tried to say. Jeoni shook her head and held him, “No…it won’t. Even if it will, it’ll be too late. I don’t like it here. This isn’t the place to raise her…”
Richard thought long and hard about this and said, “…Alright. We’ll see how school goes for Erika. If she likes schooling here, we’ll stay. If she doesn’t, we’ll go someplace else. Is that alright with you?”
Jeoni thought for a long while before nodding, “…Alright.”
Meanwhile, Erika is sleeping peacefully inside her own little bedroom. The room was plain and there weren’t any pictures or anything of the sort that would symbolize a personal item…nothing except for the blue scarf and the hairclip lying on the dresser beside her bed.
She sleeps, not knowing of the coming events that will all transpire in a mere Twenty-Four hours.
Erika's Tale: School Day Blues (Part Two) by Red Sparrow
“Erika’s Tale: School Day Blues (Part Two)”
Erika took her seat and looked around timidly. The classroom was small, but there were quite a few students residing. She wore a nice white shirt with a baby blue skirt. She wore the newest shoes she had. They were two years old and hurt quite a bit. She had her ever present pink butterfly hairclip on, along with a blue scarf around her neck. She wore that scarf everywhere, no matter what she wore.
She was told to take a random seat; she somehow ended up in the center. She felt a shadow hovering above her head and looked up. She saw a girl much bigger than her. Erika tried her best to be friendly, she smiled shyly and said, “…Hello…”
The girl smiled…but in an arrogant way, “Hi. Get off my seat.” Erika looked around and saw stares from everyone. She got up quickly, taking her books in her arms, she surrendered her seat. Erika was forced to migrate all the way to the back of the classroom. She was seated in the rightmost corner.
She looked around. All she received were curious stares. She could hear the whispers. She decided to keep her head down, Why are they staring? she wondered fearfully. Her heart was racing rapidly in her chest.
The teacher, an old brunette woman, entered. Her hair was dotted by grays. Her face showed the wrinkles of age and stress. Even the teacher stared at Erika intently.
Not used to, and hating, all the attention, Erika slumps down into her chair, avoiding eye contact with everyone.
The lady cleared her throat and spoke loudly in a scratchy voice that made everyone cringe. “CLASS!!!” she yelled. She cleared her throat again and said in a normal voice…well, as normal as it can get, “We have a new student whom will be joining us today. Erika, please stand.”
Erika slowly stood up. She didn’t like this place…she didn’t like being the center of attention. “This is Erika Ae…Aeryick…” the woman sets her glasses in front of her eyes and squints at the sheet of paper in her hands. “Aerie.” Erika said.
The woman paused for a moment before tossing the paper away, “It doesn’t matter. Have a seat.”
Erika quickly sat down. She could tell already…she didn’t like school.
The doors all opened, releasing the kids into the playgrounds for recess. Everyone filed out neatly before quickly dispersing into groups of friends and teams. Erika stood within all of this. She didn’t know anyone here. She looked at the group of kids using the slides, then at the kids playing dodgeball.
Not knowing where to go, she drifts towards a bench just outside of her classroom. She sits down and just watched.
Some time later, halfway through recess, a small group of kids, most of them were her classmates, approached her. She looked up at the large girl from before. The girl introduced herself, “My name is Yuri.” Without giving Erika a chance to answer, Yuri asked, “Is it true?”
Erika looked clueless.
The girl repeated, “…Is it?”
“…Is what true?” Erika asked with apprehension in her voice. She couldn’t stand the gawking. She wanted to run home…away from all these scary kids. She wanted to see her…
“Your Old Lady…is it true that she once ate Hylians?” the girl asked.
Erika blinked and shook her head, “…No.”
“Is it true she eats garbage?” a boy’s voice asked from the back of the growing crowd.
Erika shook her head and tensed up. Her heart was beating so rapidly that it felt like it would jump out of her chest. Yuri wore a half-smile, “Isn’t your lady a Gerudo?”
“…A ‘Gerudo’?” Erika asked.
“Are you stupid?” another girl asked. Erika flinched at the word for some reason. As if it physically hurt her. “A Gerudo is a thing with round ears. It looks like a Hylian, but it smells.”
“…I…I think so…” Erika replied slowly. She had always known about her mother’s round ears, but she never realized that it meant that she was something different from a Hylian.
“How come you have Hylian ears?” another kid questioned. Erika shook her head, “…I…don’t know.”
“Don’t you know anything?” Yuri asked as if Erika were stupid.
Erika didn’t answer.
“You’re really slow; did you know that, Garbage Eater?” Yuri laughed.
Erika stood up suddenly and said in a half shouting voice, “Don’t call me that…!”
Yuri looked surprised for a moment before shoving Erika back onto the bench. Erika stumbled backwards and slammed her back painfully against the brickwork before sliding down onto her seat. She cried out in pain as tears flowed down her face.
“’It’ can cry after all!” Yuri said. She looked at Erika’s scarf and asked, “Why are you wearing that ugly thing?”
Erika didn’t respond. “Helloooo…” Yuri knocked on Erika’s head, causing laughter from the crowd, “Hey, garbage girl, talk when you’re spoken to.”
“Go away.” was Erika’s tearful response.
Yuri looked at Erika angrily. Slowly, her eyes focused on the beautiful pink butterfly hairclip.
“…Give me that…” Yuri suddenly said in a commanding tone. The energy of the crowd around her made her feel superior.
Erika knew what she was talking about, “…No.” she said rebelliously.
Yuri narrowed her eyes, “Garbage aren’t supposed to have things like that…give it to me.”
Erika stood up and said loudly, “No! This is mine!”
Erika's Tale: Midsummer Night (Part Three) by Red Sparrow
“Erika’s Tale: Midsummer Night (Part Three)”
Erika limped home, accompanied only by the afternoon sun.
Her butterfly hairclip was gone. She still had her scarf.
Her clothes were tattered, her hair disheveled, and there were long scratch marks on her face. Blood seeped out of the deeper marks. Her eyes were slightly red from crying. Her left leg was the source of the most pain; she seemed to have injured it somehow.
More people stared, but made no effort whatsoever to lend a hand.
Jeoni was sitting on her nicely cushioned chair when she heard a knock on the door. She looked up for a moment before setting down her book. Around this time, she realized that it must be Erika. At this thought, she quickened her speed towards the door into a run.
She turned the door and gasped at the sight before her.
“…It’s ok, mother…really.” Erika said as Jeoni tended to her injuries. They were both inside Erika’s room, sitting on her bed. She examined Erika’s leg and shook her head, “You’re lucky you didn’t sprain it…much less broken it. We’ll just put some ice on it and let you rest…”
“Are you a Gerudo?” Erika suddenly asked. Jeoni stopped doing everything. She had ceased to neither breathe nor blink.
“...it’s…true?” Erika spoke up, shaking her mother from the bitter sense of irony she felt deep down in her heart. She looked Erika in the eyes and said, “…I guess…I guess I couldn’t keep you from finding out…”
“—that I’m a freak?!” Erika shouted, furious. She broke down and cried, “I only wanted to be a normal girl…that’s all I wanted. I wanted to have friends…”
Jeoni stayed silent. Every word Erika was saying, every sentence was killing Jeoni inside. It hurt her because she couldn’t think of anything to say to save her daughter from this revelation.
Erika looked at Jeoni with pained eyes, “Why did you do this to me?! Why did you make me into a monster?!” she shouted as tears rolled down her face, “Why did you have to be a Gerudo?!”
Jeoni looked her daughter in the eyes and said the only thing she could, “…I don’t know…”
Jeoni lets a tear fall, saying those words repeatedly, each time she said it, the intensity in her voice rose, “…I don’t know…I don’t know!...I don’t know!!!”
Even her daughter hated her…of all the people in the world; her own daughter despises her as well for the blood that courses through her veins. Jeoni stood up slowly in a trance-like state and walked out of the room without uttering a single word, shutting the door behind her.
Erika walked to the door slowly; she held the doorknob and locked it. Without letting go, she slides down on her knees, resting her head on the door, she wept.
“It happened, didn’t it?” Richard asked. It was hours after the conflict between mother and daughter. He walked towards his lover and knelt in front of her. She was sitting in her wooden, cushioned rocking chair, rocking back and forth. She wore a blank look. He reached up and held her hand, “…what did she say?”
Jeoni’s eyes slowly moved to look at the man before her…a Hylian. She opened her mouth and said in an emotionless voice, “…she said what everyone else has been saying for years.”
Her voice shook as the traces of life began to flow back into her eyes, she said in a quavering voice, “My own daughter…she despises me. Just like everyone else.” She cried, “Why is it always my fault?! Can I do nothing right?!” she lets the tears fall freely now.
“Jeoni…” was all Richard could say at the moment. She sobbed, letting all the built up pain show, “I never…I never wanted this to happen to Erika…I knew I shouldn’t have let her go to school…If only I knew she would hate me for what I am! Richard!” she looked at him with pained eyes, “I want to leave this place! Please! Set me free from this hate!”
Erika was lying down on her bed with thin strips of bandages covering the wounds on her face; a pack of ice was spread on her injured leg. Her eyes were open as she stared up at the ceiling, listening to the conversation her parents were having. She tried desperately to make sense of it all. It was strange that, earlier that day, she was the happiest girl in the world…with her pink butterfly hairclip and her nice clothes. She was going to make friends. She was going to be like everyone else.
“Alright…” Richard lamented, “Erika will stay home…she won’t go to school…and we’ll leave as soon as possible.”
Jeoni turned her head towards the door of Erika’s room. She said softly, “…when is ‘as soon as possible’?”
“…Perhaps,” Richard began, “less than a week…”
“A week…” both Erika and Jeoni whispered in unison. A week seemed like eternity.
Weeks have passed, yet still they stayed. Everyday, Richard would say the same thing “One more week.”
It’s been a month since that day. Even so, Erika and Jeoni kept their distance from one another. Neither uttered a word to the other. Richard, meanwhile, did his best to support his dismantled family.
The town was on edge about the Aerie family. Speculation grew. The first and only day Erika was at school, she had a fight with the student body president, Yuri. Yuri only sustained a few scratches as her injuries, yet rumors spread to epic proportions. Most were fueled by Yuri herself. She had the power. She was the daughter of the mayor after all.
Some rumors included masquerades for clandestine operations. Soon, the entire town was talking of an impending attack by the Gerudo army. Some claimed that Erika’s family were spies sent in the keep tabs on the Hylians.
It was a miracle that the town stayed relatively inactive for so long in the midst of so much confusion. Finally…on the final night of that month, it happened.
Erika stared out the window from inside her room. She had a single candle to battle the dark. Sitting beside the candle was her blue scarf and a glass of water. She sat in her bed and simply stared, letting her thoughts linger.
She felt so depressed. She yearned to leave and go outside…she had stayed home for a little less than a month.
For awhile now, she had heard voices from outside of her room. Some strangers had come and were chatting with her parents. She never ventured out of the room to check who it was. It was none of her business.
She leaned to the side and blew out the candle, letting the dark settle in. It was around that time, that the sound of struggle came to her ears. She looked at the door, wanting to check, but fear kept her planted in her bed.
Fighting down the fear that made her stomach churn, she summoned all the courage within her and stepped gingerly out of bed, never letting her eyes leave the door.
She heard a man shout, “Where’s the girl?!” followed by her mother’s voice, “I don’t know!”
Erika’s heart was beating faster now. Whoever they were, they were after her.
Erika looked around quickly for a place to hide. She looked at her small closet as an option. Then she looked at her bed. Whatever she chose, she had to make a choice now. She saw the locked doorknob turn and stop as the lock held firm. The door rattled as a strong foot slammed into it followed by her mother’s scream, “No!!”
That made her choice for her.
Erika got down on her hands and knees and rolled under her bed just as the door was kicked down.
Erika tensed up, she didn’t dare move.
Everything was silent now. Nothing moved. Erika breathed in short, quiet breaths.
Suddenly, her mother’s body fell before her eyes. Jeoni’s bloodied face stared at Erika lifelessly.
Erika almost screamed, but something inside prevented her from doing so. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t move, she couldn’t do anything. The fear took over, paralyzing everything. Her lungs refused to respond as Erika stared into the face of death.
She gagged on nothing but pure terror.
She couldn’t take her eyes off of her mother. The thing that snapped her back to life was a warm sensation on the side of her face. It was then that she realized the fact that Jeoni’s blood had flowed out of her slit neck and oozed towards her.
Erika quickly backed away from the trail of blood.
She didn’t want it to touch her. Her breathing was loud and fast, she couldn’t help it as she began to hyperventilate. Both of her hands went to her mouth to try to smother the feeling to scream.
She backed up until her back touched the wall as tears began to roll freely down her face.
The blood continued its path towards her, as if it were alive and wanted to take Erika’s life as well; she was horrified of that thought.
She closed her eyes as the blood inched closer. She heard footsteps, but refused to budge. Her eyes slowly opened, seeing that the blood had stopped flowing and froze millimeters from her face. Her eyes followed that trail to her mother’s still face. She saw a pair of large brown boots kick Jeoni hard in the face, throwing the body aside, “Where’s the girl!?”
Her heart was beating so loudly that she feared that the men in the room would hear. A black pair of boots stepped into view, “Check the closet. And you two get this body out of here.”
She saw her mother’s body dragged out of view.
The brown pair of boots moved towards her closet. After a few short moments, brown boots said, “Not here.”
“Damn.” Black boots cursed, “We need that girl…”
The two stood there, facing each other for several moments before leaving the room without any words exchanged.
Erika stayed under the bed for minutes on end before she began to move. Suddenly, the bed was flung off of her. She turned to see brown boots, it was a medium sized man with a large gut. He had a bloodied hunting knife in his mouth, held by the blade with his teeth. He still held the bed up. He grinned.
Erika screamed and backed up away from him, using her legs to scoot away until she bumped into her drawer. The man lets the bed drop back down and drew the knife from his mouth. He licked his lips as he stalked the frightened nine-year-old.
She stood up slowly, but her knees buckled and she fell back down. She struggled again.
The man saw this and took his time, “She’s here!” he shouted over his shoulder.
She managed to find some leverage using the drawer. She looked for a weapon.
The man grabbed her by the shoulder, squeezing hard, causing a scream of pain from Erika. He turned her around as she reached for something on the drawer.
The man’s grin was replaced by a cry of pain as Erika flung the glass of water at him. The glass broke and shattered in his eyes. He clawed the shards of glass impaled into his face, letting Erika free at the same time.
Erika grabbed her scarf without thinking and ran out of the room. The front door was directly in front of her as she left.
Erika glanced over her shoulder at the man. Then she glanced to her right, seeing her mother’s body piled on top of her father’s. Another man saw her and stood up from looting through the cabinets. He wore black boots. He had a mean scowl on his face as he drew his sword.
She quickened her pace and neared the open door. Beyond that door, the cold night, Freedom…
The man with brown boots stepped out of Erika’s doorway with a bloodied face. He had a bow and arrow in his hands. He nocked the arrow and aimed.
Just as Erika breaks into the outside, he fires. Erika, obeying whatever force willed her, shut the door behind her back, the arrowhead plowed through, skewering through the wooden door and stuck.
She looked over her shoulder again to see the two men kick down the door and sprint after her. She wasn’t looking where she was going and bumped into something.
She stumbled backwards and fell on her back. She looked up to see another man, presumably one of the murderers. She scooted away and climbed back to her feet. The man didn’t smile, nor made any other expressions. He simply took a step forward.
Erika backed up quickly, without realizing she was backing up towards the man with the black boots. The man raised his wooden club and brought it down against the back of Erika’s head. She let out a short yelp before her eyes rolled back. She fell on her knees before collapsing to her side. She didn’t move.
The three men formed a circle around her. The attacking man handed the club to the man with the brown boots, “Here,” he said, “Let’s just get this over with.”
He drew a knife.
Erika's Tale: March (Part Four) by Red Sparrow
“Erika’s Tale: March (Part Four)”
Black boots knelt beside an unconscious Erika and yanked her up by the hair. He placed the knife against her throat. She was still supported by her knees, “I’m glad you’re here to enjoy the show, sir.” Black boots said to the man with polished shoes.
Before anything else can be done, polished shoes said, “…Perhaps she is better off alive.”
The men looked up at him. Black boots said harshly, “What the hell are you talking about?!”
Polished shoes replied, “She is still only a girl…you’ve already committed a crime via vigilante actions. Taking the law into our own hands is forbidden. We’ll need her as a loophole.”
Brown boots argued, “No! We’re doing the right thing! She is nothing but a spy for those dirty Gerudo!”
“What if she isn’t?” polished shoes replied calmly, “What if you’ve made a mistake?”
“If we kill her,” black boots countered, “No one can prove a thing.” Polished shoes shook his head, “We’ll turn her into the authorities…its better this way. Let’s see how the law handles this. If it all goes according to plan, we’ll be let off the hook and she’ll be the one to blame. But if you kill her…I won’t be able to leave you exempt from the law.”
After a few tense moments of silence, black boots cursed and re-sheathed his knife. He slung an unconscious Erika over his shoulder and walked off to turn her into the local police.
Brown boots followed, leaving the silent man alone. After a few minutes he walked off.
Polished shoes stepped into an alley, hidden in shadow; he spoke, “Impa.”
Impa suddenly appeared beside him donning the Sheikah night garb. She had a cloth wrapped around her mouth to shield her identity, “…you called?”
“You saw the whole thing, didn’t you?” polished shoes asked.
Impa nodded. She crossed her arms and said, “You shouldn’t have interfered. Your cover might be blown.”
Polished shoes shook his head. He grabbed a flap of skin on his neck and pulled off the mask to reveal a youthful face. This young man was named Ivan.
Ivan shook his head and said, “Spying on the Clandestine of Dusk and Link all at once…it’s a pain in the ass.”
Impa smirked, “You accepted the mission.” She looked around before saying, “How’s it feel playing the role of double-agent?” she thought for a moment, “Or is that even the right word?”
Ivan grew serious again, “This Erika girl…she’s been dealt a cruel fate…see if you can help her somehow. I imagine its tough growing up in a place like this…this town…it’s so full of hate.”
“It’s what happens,” Impa began, “when people of the same backgrounds all come together for so long. They hate outsiders. Give the most powerful one a voice and the others follow like sheep.” She shook her head, “Anyways, didn’t you order your men to turn her into the authorities? I doubt they’ll be as compassionate to a girl with her….distinct background.”
“My men…they’re idiots. They leave me to clean up their messes…biased bastards. I’d much rather have a few Sheikah here to assist me. Even Yuri, I’ve never raised her to be like this. If only Lena were here.”
“You’ve been gone most of her life…she has no choice but to assimilate…to blend in with the masses. She doesn’t even know who you really are. Now, about Erika…” Impa inquired.
He looked at her and said with a twinkle in his eye, “Don’t forget...my name may be Ivan to you, but here, I’m Mayor Lesette. The law forbids executing a minor…the worst we can do is send her into exile.”
“I understand…say no more.” Impa smiled, “You are quite soft hearted, don’t you know? Be careful…give too much mercy and you’ll end up dead one day.”
Impa turned away. She was about to leave when she looked over her shoulder and asked, “And how is Saria?”
Ivan paused before replying, “…she’s doing well. She seems to have healed quite a bit…emotionally, of course.”
Impa let out a small laugh, “I heard you two hit it off pretty well. Be careful, it might be ‘Lena’ all over again.”
Ivan turned red and was about to say something when Impa leapt up onto the rooftops and disappeared from view.
Ivan places the mask over his face, successfully giving the illusion that he was older than 60 years of age, he muttered and said in a tired old voice, matching the face he donned, “Impa…you wily bastard.”
He walked off. It was going to be a long day tomorrow.
It was early the next morning. A large crowd consisting of the entire town had gathered to watch the sentencing of the hated half Gerudo. Erika stood before ‘Mayor Lesette’ as he read her crimes aloud. She had her arms chained in front of her. She also had an iron collar on. The guards were able to drag her like a dog.
Lesette continued, his voice echoing through the early foggy morning, “…two counts of murder, and treason to this town. You’ve also been charged with the crime of being a Gerudo. That in itself is not to be taken lightly.” he glared at her hatefully, “If you were a few more years older, I would have the power to sentence you to death. But, unfortunately, because of the laws passed by our forefathers, executing a minor is forbidden.”
The crowd gave shouts of dismay.
“However…I can still rid this town of scum like you…” he smiled, “You are hereby exiled from the town of Windfall. You may never again set foot here! If you do…” he changed his tone into a cutting, acidic voice, proving that he is one of the best agents the Sheikah has to offer, “I can’t guarantee that you won’t be left unharmed.”
Erika stood there with her head down. She couldn’t quite bring herself to cry. She felt dead on the inside.
She flinched and closed her eyes as the crowd began to grow restless and shouted insults in her direction. She wanted so much to block out the crowd around her.
“If you have anything to say,” Lesette spoke, “say it now.”
Erika looked up at Lesette. She then turned and looked at the crowd around her. She narrowed her eyes and said in one last act of defiance, “I have nothing to say to you pigs…I hope that you all die.”
Lesette smiled on the inside, but on the outside, he wore a furious expression, “How dare you…worthless trash!! Take her away!!”
The two guards yanked on her chains, forcing her backwards. Erika turned slowly and began to walk towards the gates leading out of the town.
Light sprinkles of rain began to fall. It was as if the heavens were weeping for her. Thunder rolled. Erika looked up at the sky as the guards continued to humiliatingly lead her like a dog with a collar towards the gate.
A tomato flew and splattered against the left side of her face. She stumbled to the right and fell on one knee. The guards didn’t care; they yanked her back up to her feet and forced her to walk as the townspeople began lobbing fruits and rocks at her.
Erika cries out as a sharp rock strikes her on the side of the head, she fell once again onto her knees as blood gushed out. Another piece of fruit strikes her in the back and splatters.
Still, through all this, she never shed a tear.
The guards once again yank her to her feet, repeating the cycle once more. She walked a few more yards, which to her, felt like miles.
Finally they made it to the gates. The guards snapped the iron collar off of her neck and then proceeded to remove the iron chains binding her wrists together.
After the chains drop, they forcibly shoved her through the gates. She fell forward and landed facedown. The crowd behind her laughed. Lesette wore a blank face. He hated these people.
The gates shut, and the laughter died down. After a long while, Erika began to stir. She sat up on her knees and stared at the gates before her. She still wore those bloodied clothes. Her hair was tattered and wet as the rain increased its tempo and doused her in the cold atmosphere.
She shivered violently. She closed her eyes tightly as she threw her head back and cried out her agony for the goddesses to hear. After crying out her anguish, she closed her eyes and curled up futilely, resting her head onto the soft dirt. She finally cried. She spent hours there, doused in the rain and crying. She cried to the point that tears refused to shed. She sneezed.
She heard a pair of boots sink into a patch of mud behind her. She looked up in horror as she heard the voice, “…if you think it’s over…you’re kidding yourself, little girl.”
Still on her knees, she slowly turned to see for herself if her biggest fear had become a reality. She saw the men who had killed her family standing with more than twenty others. She stood up slowly as lightening streaked the sky.
She had to ask the question going through her mind, “…why…?”
The man shrugged, “There doesn’t have to be a reason. We just don’t like your kind…what’s worse…you’re nothing but Gerudo wanting to be a Hylian. You freaks should learn to stick with your own kind. You’re not wanted here.”
Erika backed up against the gates, “Just let me go…!” she pleaded over the rain.
The man with brown boots laughed, “Since we’re civilized, we’ll give you a ten second head start.”
Erika didn’t budge.
“Ten,” the man began, “nine…eight…”
Erika began to inch away towards the woods to her right.
She bolted into the woods, running as fast as her legs could carry her.
She plowed through the bushes, her lungs ached, yet she pushed herself further.
She leapt over a fallen log. She was fueled by the will to live…the will to survive.
“One!” the men charged after her, hunting her like game.
Erika's Tale: Reborn (Finale) by Red Sparrow
“Erika’s Tale: Reborn (Finale)”
The bushes rustled. The sounds of boots crushing the dense grass made their way to Akari’s ears. She tensed up and tried to steady her breathing. The bottom portion of her shirt was ripped off, exposing her stomach.
The sky was gray and depressing, but at least the rain had died down into a gentle trickle.
She was sitting against the bark of an old tree, the tree was very small. If Erika were to stand up, she’d be twice its size. The tree was fragile and its branches were sharp with thick red thorns. Her hands were bleeding.
She heard the boots stop. This was it…she had to check. Just to be sure where the men were at the moment…
She built up her mettle and leaned to the side with only her upper body. The man with brown boots had his back turned to her. She was about to pull back when the man turned suddenly and laughed, “Gotcha!”
She pulled back quickly and closed her eyes, never moving from that spot as the man lazily jogged to her position with a knife in his hands.
He crept around the tree trunk and looked down at her.
He was expecting fear in her eyes, but what he saw was something more along the lines of eagerness. He looked confused for a moment.
Erika then scooted to the left. The ends of the torn lower portion of her shirt, with nothing to keep it down, caused the branch of the tree it was tied around to swing and smash it’s thorns into the man’s chest. She rose up and bolted away as the man let out a cry of frustration and pain. He grabbed the branch by the thorns and pried the sharp jagged thorns from his chest.
Erika ran, powered only by the joy of her first small victory against her adversaries. She broke through the bushes and skidded to a stop in horror as she realized where she was.
She had run into the other group of hunters. There were about ten of them. Seeing her, they all instantly ran to her with weapons shining in the rainy light.
This was it…she was finished.
She closed her eyes and waited for the end.
She waited for a long time before opening her eyes. She then saw the corpses of the men around her. She backed away, trying to register what had just happened. She backed up right into someone’s arms.
She was about to scream when a hand clamped down over her mouth. Causing her to only let out a muffled shriek. She heard a woman’s voice, “Relax.”
For some reason, she did as she was told. This voice was harsh, yet friendly.
The arms slowly release her. Erika stepped forward and turned around. Impa was standing in front of her. Impa spoke, “Are you hurt?”
Erika hesitated before replying, “…no…just my hands.”
She extended her bloodied palms out towards Impa to show her the injuries.
There was a groan behind Impa as one of the men limped towards her with a scimitar in his hands. Without turning around, Impa drew a kunai knife and threw it over her shoulder. The knife made a sick thunk sound as it impaled itself into the man’s head. He fell back and died.
Impa, sensing nothing dangerous around her, knelt before Erika to examine her, “I’m ok, mother…really.” She said without realizing what she said.
Impa looked up for a moment, she took this as sarcasm, “…fine.”
Erika looked Impa in the eyes for a moment before backing away; she knelt down and pried a sword from one of the men’s hands. Impa raised a brow, “…what is it?”
Without saying a word, Erika ran towards Impa with a battle cry, her sword set to stab.
Impa easily sidestepped the attack only to realize that Erika kept on running.
Brown boots stumbled out of the bushes only to see Erika with a sword coming his way. His eyes widened as he raised his hands to shield himself. Erika plunges the sword through his chest. She screamed as the blood splattered over her. She shoves it deeper in, causing the man’s lifeless body to tilt over and fall with a thud.
This still wasn’t enough. Erika, with tears in her eyes began stomping on the man’s face, and crying out after each blow.
She then felt strong arms yank her away. She tried to escape Impa’s clutches and ‘finish’ the man off.
“Get a hold of yourself!” Impa shouted, “He’s dead!”
Minutes passed until Erika stopped struggling and had calmed down.
Impa slowly releases her grip and turns Erika around to face her, “…For someone so young, you didn’t even hesitate to take a life.”
Erika fell on her knees. She kept her head down and said in a cold voice, “…He deserved it…they all deserved it.”
Impa looked on in silence at the unstable girl. “Do you have anyone left?” Impa asked.
Erika shook her head. Impa crossed her arms and said, “…well, then-”
Erika interrupted her and said, “…You’re a Sheikah aren’t you?”
Impa smiled faintly, “…yes.”
“Let me join you…I want to learn…” Erika asked. Impa looked at her curiously, “Learn what? …How to kill?”
Erika went silent. Impa shook her head, “…You aren’t fit to be a Sheikah. We’re tools…we are taught to never show any emotions. We don’t need any other reason to kill except money. Are you sure you want that life?”
“Where else am I supposed to go?” Erika asked quietly.
“I have one question…” Impa began. Erika looked up, Impa continued, “Are you willing to give up truly living? Are you ready to leave everything behind?”
Erika’s eyes lit up. Forgetting everything in that happened, leaving all those horrible memories behind. This is exactly what she wanted. What she had dreamed for. Erika nodded.
Impa frowned and went silent. She closed her eyes and thought.
Erika simply stood still and waited for a response.
Finally, Impa opened her eyes and asked, “…You’re name. Tell me it.”
Erika spoke up eagerly, “…It’s Erika.”
Impa nodded. Her eyes examined Erika carefully. She was sitting there, covered with red blood. The blood of the one who had wronged her, Erika’s hands was bloodied. This was from the thorns of a nearby tree.
Impa nodded again and said slowly, “…From this day forward, Erika is dead. She no longer exists. You will be reborn as Akari, a new recruit to the Sheikah. You will come with me and you will be my disciple. You will grow up and never recall any of these events ever again. You will kill despite your conscience telling you not to. You will kill when ordered. You will never question your orders. You will always obey and have no opinion. You are a tool, a weapon. Like weapons, you will no longer show any emotions unless it is called for. You will not eat without orders, nor sleep without being ordered to. If you are ordered to kill yourself, you will not hesitate. This is the life in which you will now live. Do you understand, Akari?”
Erika, now known as Akari, nodded. “Speak up.” Impa ordered. Akari stood up and said, “Yes!”
The sunlight shone through the rain.
Impa nodded. She turned her back to Akari and knelt down, "Climb on."
Akari smiled faintly. She had always wanted a piggy-back ride.
The Way of the Sheikah by Red Sparrow
“The Way of the Sheikah”
Akari stood in front of the place where her house had once stood. A small shop was built over it. Akari clenched her fists. How could they do such a thing?
She felt a presence and looked down. She saw a small five year old girl looking up at her. The girl held a small wooden doll in her hands. She stared up at her curiously. Akari glanced around before putting her attention on the girl. “Hello there.” Akari spoke.
A cute smile grew on the girl’s face, “Hi!”
The girl looked at the shop Akari had been looking at and said, “That’s where I bought my doll.”
Akari smiled sweetly, “Really? I might get one.”
“I think you’re too old.” The girl replied innocently.
Akari blinked and laughed. It Red had said that, she wouldn’t be so sweet.
Akari shook her head, “No, I’m seventeen; I’m not that old, am I?” she then realized that it had been more than a year since she and Red had met. The girl shook her head, “My mommy is eighteen.”
Akari raised a brow. At this time, she noticed a pink butterfly hairclip in the girl’s hair. “Just who is your mommy?”
Akari heard footsteps and turned to see the girl’s mother walk towards them. The girl’s mother apologized, “I’m so sorry! Was she bothering you?”
Akari smiled and shook her head, “No, not at all.” The girl pointed at Akari, “She’s nice!”
The girl ran to her mother and took her hand. The girl’s mother scolded her, “Alicia! What did I say about wandering around?” she looked at Akari and bowed apologetically, “I’m so very sorry, miss.”
Akari smiled in a friendly way, “Don’t worry, no worries at all…” the mother began to walk off with Alicia in tow. She couldn’t hold the question in any longer, she had to ask, “Excuse me…”
Alicia’s mother turned and faced Akari, “Yes?”
“May I ask you your name?” Akari asked. The woman smiled, “My name’s Yuri.” There was a pause. Yuri asked, “And yours?”
Akari thought for a moment before replying, “I’m Akari, nice to meet you.”
Yuri nodded and left with her daughter, Alicia. Akari stared as both Yuri and her daughter rounded the corner at the end of the street.
Akari smiled faintly and turned away, walking into the shop.
The woods were damp from the prevalent fog. The dew dripped off the healthy green leaves as Akari stood beside a riverbank. This was where she and her family would go and camp whenever they had the time. She had lied to Red…they never had another chance to leave town. That was the first and only time they left town.
She knelt down and set the bouquet of flowers beside the riverbank. She stared at the flowers, as if searching for some answers in those petals.
She heard a rustle, but she didn’t turn around.
Red’s voice broke the silence, “…Akari.”
Akari didn’t respond. She took a deep breath before replying, “…how did you find me?”
Marin spoke up, “The shop guy…they said they saw you. Red knew where to find you.” Red nodded, “That night in Kohilint Island. You told me about how you and your parents would come and camp here once a year.”
Akari smiled faintly. Her back was turned to the others, so they couldn’t see, “So…you didn’t fall asleep on me, after all.”
“Whatever happened to your parents,” Marin said, “we’re sorry. Just know that…we’re here for you. We trust you and you can trust us.”
Akari visibly flinched for a split second.
Red and Marin walked towards her and stopped beside her. They both knelt and set down some of their own bouquets. Akari looked at the three colorful bouquets lined up in front of her. Akari said softly, “You guys…you didn’t have to.”
Red shook his head, “We’re in this together, right?”
Marin nodded. Akari paused for a bit before nodding, “Right.”
“Listen…can you two go wait by the road?” Akari began, “I-I just…want some time alone. I need to think some things over.” Red and Marin nodded. They both left, leaving Akari alone to think.
She stared at the water as it flowed. The water was so clear…so pure.
Without moving or taking her eyes off the river, she said in a monotone voice, “Kayji.”
A Sheikah named Kayji landed behind her from above and said, “…As sharp as ever, Akari.”
Akari stood up, not bothering to turn to face him, “I know why you’re here.”
Kayji nodded; “If you knew that I knew that I know you knew that I knew…so why’d you say anything?” Akari shook her head and scoffed, “I hate it when you say stupid shit like that.” Kayji puts an arm around her waist and pulled her close, “Even so…I’m still supposed to tell you.” Akari sighed.
Kayji continued, “Your time is running out…you have to complete your assignment. It’s been well over a year. What are you waiting for?”
Akari shook her head, “…I’ve just been having…second thoughts.”
“…Second thoughts...About the mission?” Kayji quizzed.
Akari didn’t answer. Kayji lets go and places his hands on her shoulders. He turns her around and says, “Akari…you know what you’re getting yourself into, don’t you? We’re Sheikah, remember? You’re breaking one of the biggest edicts our forefathers have established. No emotions.”
“I can’t help it…I have a heart, you know!” Akari said, refusing to look Kayji in the eyes. Kayji places his hand under her chin and makes her look at him, “Akari…you’re sounding like you’re thinking of being a rogue ninja.” He said worriedly, “You know what’ll happen if you continue down this track, don’t you?”
Akari nods, “…I do…”
Kayji lets go and narrows his eyes, “…Please…don’t. Don’t make me…”
Akari shook her head, “I won’t. I’ll complete this mission and everything will be back to the way it was before.” Kayji nodded, “Good, I haven’t seen you in so long. I’ll stick close by and monitor you from afar. If you run into some trouble, I’ll bail you out.”
Akari shook her head, “I can take care of myself.”
Kayji nods, knowing this, “I know. But it was an order.”
Akari cursed. “Don’t worry,” Kayji said, trying to calm her down. He wraps an arm around her waist and pulls her close. He kisses her gently on the lips, “This way, we’ll be able to see each other more often.”
Akari looks at him before nodding. She then rests her head on his chest. Kayji felt something odd about her. He had to make sure, “Akari…” he said. Akari looked at him. Without another word said, he kissed her again. Deeply this time, more passionately.
After awhile, he couldn’t feel her respond to his kiss. He broke this kiss and looked at her. He searched her eyes for the answer, “What’s the matter?” Akari looked away. Kayji then knew what was wrong.
He lets go and backs up, “No…you can’t be…you can’t. After all those times we’ve spent together…Him?!”
Akari looked away. Kayji, totally enraged shouted, “We’ve been together for three years…THREE YEARS!! And you fall for a guy you know for only one damn year?!”
Akari didn’t reply. Kayji reached over and shook her violently, “You’re going to get yourself killed!!! You’ve fallen for the target! You’re going to be labeled a runaway! You’re going to be hunted down! Doesn’t this mean anything to you?! Don’t I mean anything to you?!”
Akari just flailed helplessly. Kayji stopped suddenly and shook his head, “Fine…I care about you too much to have you hunted down. If you don’t kill him, I will.”
Akari came back to life and shouted, “No!”
Kayji stared at her in disbelief. Akari shook her head and said, “I…I’ll kill him! You stand back and watch!”
“Then go and do it!” Kayji replied quickly. Akari paused before saying, “…I…” her voice softened, “I need to wait for the right moment…that’s all.”
Kayji shook his head, “You’ve wasted enough time. You must stop him before he reaches Hyrule. Or we all will die. Doesn’t that matter to you? Ivan would want this…he died for the mission while undercover. Thanks to him, we’ve learned about the Triforce pieces. I won’t hesitate to sacrifice myself…I won’t hesitate to sacrifice you, either...if it means saving everyone else from damnation.”
Akari stared at the ground. She nodded slowly, “Stay out of my way…I’ll kill him. I promise. I’ll do it for everyone, for the mission, and…” she walked towards Kayji. She wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him in for a deep kiss. She broke this kiss and said in a determined voice, “…for us.”
She backed up away from him to see his reaction. Kayji smiled and nodded, “Alright.” Akari turned around. Her back was to him as she faced the river again. She said softly, “Go…”
Kayji placed a hand on his lips. He knew that kiss was forced. It didn’t have that same passion she used to have for him. Still, he had to believe she’d pull through. He sincerely didn’t want to hunt her down.
He turned around and said, “…Do it for the mission…because we Sheikah…” he stopped in mid sentence, letting her mind finish it.
He jumped and disappeared in midair.
Akari fell on her knees and stared at the bouquet of flowers. She whispered, finishing the sentence, “…are just tools…nothing more…nothing less. Live for the Mission, Die for the Mission. That is the Way of the Sheikah.”
Sibling Showdown by Red Sparrow
Akari walked through the foliage, making it to the main road. Marin and Red were sitting on the other side of the road, talking. As soon as they saw her, they ceased to talk and stood up to greet her.
Marin asked timidly, “…Are you alright?”
Akari smiled, “Yeah…I’m fine.”
Red nodded slowly, “You sure?”
Akari sighed and nodded, “Of course…”
Red noticed that she sounded unusually mellow. He was expecting a slur of insults like usual, but none came.
“Let’s just go.” Akari said and walked down the road. Red and Marin looked at each other before running to her side, stopping only to walk beside her.
After thirty minutes of walking in silence, Akari asked, “If someone does something that people wouldn’t like, but she--I mean, he was doing it for a reason that’s good...is it actually really bad?”
Red raised a brow, intrigued by this question that seemed to come out of nowhere. He answered, “I think that...it’s okay because it’s for a good thing...”
Akari nodded slowly, “What if...everyone hates him for it, but in the end, he knows it’s all for the best. What if he’s doing it for what he believes is right but no one agrees with him? Should he keep going?”
Marin spoke, “Daddy once told me to do whatever I think is right even if no one believes I could do it. I think that...if it’s for something good, you should do it, because it’ll help everyone.”
Without realizing, the trio had just recreated Link’s conversation with a little girl at the fallen city of Meldion.
Akari nodded, “Thank you all so much…”
Red and Marin looked at her. Akari smiled faintly, “I guess I took you two for granted. I was thinking that maybe if I could stall a little longer, I could stay with you guys forever…childish thoughts.” She scoffed sadly.
Red gave her a quizzical look, “…What are you talking about?”
“Red…” she began. Her hand secretly reaching for the knife strapped by her waist, “I guess what it all comes down to is…”
The three of them froze. They had heard the tell-tale click. A gunshot rings out, only to be deflected by Red’s sword. Akari draws a knife quickly and throws it towards the bushes, the origin of the bullet. A hand reaches out and quickly catches the knife. Sakura calmly steps out and twirls the knife with her left hand, while holding her revolver with the right. She slams it into a tree by her side. The small area around the tree glowed faintly in a red pulsating light.
Akari’s eyes widened, “It’s a trigger spell!”
She quickly shoves Red out of the way as the familiar barrier traps Marin and Akari together. Red bolts up and turns to Sakura, his sword drawn.
“Even better,” Sakura said, “Now we’ll fight without any interruptions.”
She looks around, the dead cherry blossom leaves began to fall around them, she smiled, “The cherry blossoms are falling…sibling rivalries die hard.”
Akari cursed, “Dammit!! Dammit!! …Another fucking barrier!” she was frustrated at herself. She fell in each and every one of Sakura’s traps.
Sakura twirled her revolver and spoke, “Tag, you’re it, Ken-kun…” they both knew what she was talking about. They’d play tag when they were little…but back then, one of them wasn’t sincerely trying to kill the other.
Red glanced at the two trapped in the barrier. Akari was on her knees staring at the ground. Marin looked Red in the eyes and nodded, “We’ll catch up!”
Red backed away and ran off into the bushes as Sakura gave chase.
“…Akari!” Marin said, “What’s wrong? We have to find a way out of here and save Red!”
“…Red.” Akari shook her head, “…Is that even his real name? No one is stupid enough to use their real name…” she looks at Marin out of the corner of her eye, “Except you.”
Marin frowned worriedly, “Akari…what’s gotten into you?”
Akari looked back down, “…I had a Reality Check.”
Red ran through the woods, leaping over logs and other obstacles. He heard a gunshot and instinctively ducked his head. He kept running nonetheless.
He broke out of the trees and ended up in an open field. Something else caught his eye. He saw a single rock laying to his right. He looked at it. It looked like a gossip stone.
There was another gunshot and Red bolted forward into the field. Another gunshot and a bullet grazed his left leg. Red cried out and stumbled forward, he fell and rolled along the grass until he could stabilize himself. He sat up only to stare into the muzzle of Sakura’s revolver, “…Tag, you’re it.”
She pulled back the hammer of her single-action revolver named Rapidfire, their grandfather’s own creation that was meant to protect a loved one.
Red’s hand lashes out, grabbing the revolver and aiming it away from him, Sakura pulled the trigger and the bullet strikes the ground beside them. They froze as they heard a rumble. Without giving either of them a chance to register this, the ground below brother and sister part and they both fall into the deadly darkness.
“Akari…please, we need a plan.” Marin pleaded. She didn’t know how to counter spells or anything of the sort. Akari closed her eyes and nodded, “…I know…but this is a barrier spell. It’s lasting much too long…longer than a regular spell is supposed to last. The longest this type of spell can go for is thirty seconds.
The barrier pulsated again. Akari noticed this and smiled, “…I think I know how this thing works.”
Marin nodded, but wore a confused look. Akari explained, standing up and pointing at the outer circle of the barrier, “See, Sakura combined a refresher spell with the barrier. As soon as it fades, the spell refreshes itself. This is to keep the spell from totally fading. Between the times the spell fades and refreshes, the barrier’s qualities and immunities temporarily cease to function. But it’s only for a split second.
“So…what do we do?” Marin asked.
“I don’t know of a counter incantation that can destroy this barrier, so we have to prevent it.” Akari replied as her brain took apart the mechanics of Sakura’s spell like a professional. Marin nodded, finally understanding, “We cast a spell to prevent the barrier from starting back up after it refreshes!”
Akari smiled, “Thatagirl.”
Red opened his eyes slowly. All he remembered was falling into a large hole in the earth. He looked up, expecting to find sunlight, but he saw nothing…nothing at all. He couldn’t see a thing, not even his hands. It was pitch black. All he heard was the faint breathing of Sakura, he felt for her and felt her arm. As soon as he touched, their Triforce Pieces responded to one another’s. The halves of the Triforce of Courage glowed, lighting up most of the room around them.
He saw that they were inside a temple of some sort. He read about this when he had first arrived with Vale in the Clandestine of Dusk. He read some of the books in his room. This was a temple that cuts between Kakariko and Peractio. That was why that town sounded so familiar, he had read about it.
Sakura groans and sits up. She rubbed her head and muttered, “...Dammit.”
Red looks at her, and she looks at him. They both instantly snatched up their weapons and froze. Sakura had her revolver pressed hard against Red’s forehead. Red had his sword pressed against Sakura’s neck. They were still sitting.
“…Do you know where we are?” Red asked as Sakura noticed their Triforce pieces glowing. Sakura glances around out of the corner of her eye, “This is a temple…”
“But it’s not just any temple…” Red spoke. Sakura glanced around a bit more. Through all of this, neither backed their weapons down, “…This is the Shadow Temple!”
They both stood up slowly without taking their weapons off of the other.
“…Sakura, I don’t think this is the time…” Red began, but Sakura interrupted him, “…You want us to work together to get through this?” she said calmly.
Red nodded. Sakura shook her head, “…I’d rather die, then work with you.”
Red sighed. They both flinched as a loud clang echoes through the dark temple. They both heard the groans of the dead as well as the sounds of dragging limbs. They both muttered fearfully in a hushed whisper, “…ReDeads.”
Into the Shadows by Red Sparrow
“Into the Shadows”
“Sakura…” Red muttered as the ReDeads inch closer. Instead of turning their weapons to the ReDead threat, they still had them trained on each other.
“What?” Sakura muttered back angrily. Red looked her in the eyes and said sternly, “Pick right now…me or the ReDeads…?”
“I…” Sakura hesitated, she shook her head, “I’ll take you all out!” the groaning gets closer, their hearts race as the beady red eyes of the dead spring to ‘life’ in pairs one by one around them.
Red shook his head and said quickly, “You can’t take them alone!”
“…I,” Sakura hesitated, a loud screech from behind made her choice for her. She turned, planted the barrel of the revolver into the nearest ReDead’s mouth.
She pulled the trigger, causing the head to explode. Red instantly turned and slashed, slicing the redead behind him in two.
They backed up into each other. Sakura draws a second revolver and tosses it into the air. Red reaches up without looking and catches it with his right hand.
He twirls the weapon and fires on the nearest ReDead, blowing its head clean off as Sakura took out another in the same fashion.
Red examined the revolver quickly and smiled, “Grandpa Trent loaned you Wildfire, too?”
Sakura smirked, “Rapidfire and Wildfire are brother and sister revolvers…they never leave each other’s side.”
Red thought for a moment before concentrating on blasting the other zombies.
“Ok…the next one is coming up.” Akari said softly. They had been at it for ten minutes already. Marin sighed and extended both of her palms out to the barrier. Akari did the same and they counted down in unison, “…Five…Four…Three…”
They both took a deep breath and shouted at once, “IMPEDO!!!”
They were a split second too early as the barrier refreshed itself. “Fuck!!!” Akari shouted out in frustration. Marin looked at Akari hopefully, “We have to keep trying…we gotta save Red!” Akari paused and nodded slowly, not bothering to face her, “…I know.”
The ReDeads were down, none moved. But they both knew that it would only be a matter of time before they all returned. Red tossed Sakura Wildfire and said, “Let’s go.”
Sakura catches the revolver and examines the chamber, “…You used all the ammo!”
Red shrugged, “You ain’t the only trigger happy one of the family.”
Sakura shot him a hateful look and holstered the Wildfire. She began to reload Rapidfire, eyeing Red, she spoke, “…We’ll work together until we escape…then we’ll settle the score.”
Red nodded. Sakura spun the chamber and snapped it shut with the flick of her wrist, “And one more thing, Ken…You’ve better watch your back…” she aimed the barrel at Red, “Cause I might change my mind and take you out early.”
Red paused. They both stared at each other for a long time. They had an uneasy deal between them…although the treaty wasn’t guaranteed to last.
The ReDeads begin to awaken once again, forcing the two uneasy allies to work with one another and bolt down the dark adjoining hallway, lit only by the light of both their Triforce fragments.
They walked down a long narrow passageway; the walls were lined with coffins. They stepped gingerly through the dark. They reached a fork in the hallway.
Red and Sakura looked at each other. They both turned left and headed towards that area.
They saw sunlight.
Red rushed forward, but was pulled back by Sakura, “Wait…” she said. Her eyes examined everything with the same care and precision as Akari.
“That…isn’t light.” Sakura said. She stared for a moment and backed away, fear beginning to show in her eyes, “…My gods…”
Red saw nothing there but a white mist that looked like it was lit up by light.
“What is it?” Red muttered. The white mist fluttered in some sort of breeze. It shook slightly. Red stared for a moment. Sakura whispered fearfully, “We have to run…now….”
Red backed up, feeling intense evil emanating from that mist; the way it moved…it wasn’t natural. It caused his body to tremble and shake.
Everything began to get very cold. Goosebumps racked through his body. He could see his breath in front of him.
It was so cold he began to feel numb.
He heard the screech of a ReDead and suddenly couldn’t move, his eyes wide with fright, “No…” he muttered.
The mist actually turned to reveal a face. The face was the frozen exclamation of a woman screaming in fear its eyes were opened wide and it’s mouth was frozen open.
Sakura and Red were unable to move. Something was paralyzing their bodies. “S-Sakura…” Red struggled to say.
Sakura trembled, staring into the face of horror, she couldn’t look away, she couldn’t respond. The mist flew at them with blinding speed.
Neither Red nor Sakura could close their eyes or block out whatever fate that mist had in store for them. The mist lets out a shrill scream as it careened towards them.
The mist suddenly froze before them. It’s expression still wore that hideously terrible face. Red and Sakura’s Triforce shards repelled the entity, shielding them from the fearful ghost.
The ghost tried again, but couldn’t enter through the Triforce’s light.
It screamed again and again, each scream caused Red and Sakura to tremble in fear. This was too much even for the likes of Ganondorf…or even Link to stand.
The ghost floated around them, looking for an opening. Both siblings prayed that the Triforce not fade.
The ghost screamed again and shattered into hundreds of orbs. The orbs flew around them for a few cycles before each one found their place inside one of the coffins lining the hallways.
The Triforce faded. Red and Sakura regained control of their bodies. They both fell on their knees after the intense experience.
Suddenly, the hundreds of thousands of coffins all clanged as the enigmas within each one clawed for freedom.
Sakura and Red bolted up, but still were unable to fully move as fast as they would have wanted to. Red drew his sword and stumbled towards a portion of the wall.
He carved in an arrow pointing right with three quick slashes. After that, the two bolted down the hallway lined with coffins.
Sakura noticed Red’s strange behavior when they ran down the halls. She asked, “What was that arrow for?”
Red replied, “In case someone else gets lost down here…they won’t have to go through that same thing…We were lucky…we had the Triforce of Courage protecting us. I doubt anyone else would have that same luck.”
Sakura muttered angrily as they turned down another hallway, which Red managed to slash a fine mark into the wall with his sword without stopping. Sakura murmured, “Who in their right minds would willingly come to this hellhole?!”
“…Impedo!!!” Marin and Akari yelled. They had finally timed it right. The barrier, unable to properly refresh itself, hissed in a electrical way and faded permanently. Akari lets out a sigh of relief.
Without giving Akari a chance to catch her breath, Marin grabs Akari’s wrist and drags her towards the trees, “C’mon!” she yelled, “We have to go save him!”
In Darkness by Red Sparrow
The shriveled hands of the dead bang onto the hard wooden coverings of the coffins as Sakura and Red dash through the hallway that seemed to stretch on for miles, if they were to run into a dead end…they would most likely not make it.
There was a louder bang that caused Sakura to flinch as the sound of one of the coffins tipping over and breaking reached their ears. Their hearts racing, the two speed up.
Akari and Marin exit the tree lines. Akari eyes the gossip stone out of the corner of her eye and trudges over. Marin watches curiously as Akari knelt beside it. “What…are you doing to that thing?” Marin asked.
Akari spoke softly, “Quiet…”
She places her hand onto the stone and thought, How many and how long until the other units reach my location?
The stone replied in her mind, There are thirty separate Sheikah units in the vicinity. Each unit consists of seven Sheikah. Two Class A, one Class S and four Kage Ranks. Three units are on Alert, Two units are on Clearing Status, Five are on Stand-by. Other units are inactive and awaiting orders. Estimated time of arrival, twenty-two minutes.
Akari cursed under her breath. She had to ask something, Where is the location of Kayji? Class S, Rank Harukage.
“Akari…? We’ve got to hurry…what are you doing to that stone?” Marin asked.
Marin, please…be quiet. Akari thought.
Behind you, approximately one and a half feet away… The stone replied. Akari’s eyes widened.
Red and Sakura round another corner; Red slashes the wall, marking it without stopping.
There was another bang as the top of a coffin was thrown off, then another, and another.
Suddenly, hands plowed through the coffins of the narrow hallway, grabbing for them from the holes in the coffins. They ran as the sharp black claws on the ends of those brown, shriveled and decaying hands slice at their arms in an attempt to grab at them.
Both winced as blood trickled down their wounded arms, the hall seemed to go on forever. They had to stop; they were too tired to keep running. Both of them fell on one knee. They had been running for thirty minutes straight.
Suddenly two coffins beside them on opposite sides of the hallway burst open, throwing wood and debris everywhere. Twenty or so undead hands reach out from one coffin and grab Sakura’s arms and body; hand one covered her mouth and muffled her scream, pulling her into the darkness with her feet kicking frantically. “Sakura!” Red turns just as another twenty reach out and yank him into another dark coffin.
Akari turns quickly and draws her knife, expecting Kayji. Marin yelped and took a step back. Akari blinked, It was just Marin…
Akari contemplated for a moment. She thought about the last notion she had when she was using the gossip stone.
She had thought of Marin.
That probably canceled the other search for Kayji and the gossip stone must've only told her Marin’s location. Correctly using the gossip stone means concentration and discipline. Without it, you’d get useless random information.
She shook her head and sighed. She had wasted enough time.
If Kayji shows up…
At this thought, anger began to build up inside her. Why was it that she had picked this life? Maybe she should've turned Impa down on that rainy sunlit day so many years ago.
Akari punched the gossip stone in frustration. The gossip stone shook and said loudly, "Cuckoo! It is 4:38 P.M.!"
Akari and Marin blinked. Akari sighed heavily and shook her head.
“Marin…” Akari began, a thought was troubling her. Marin stared blankly at the stone, she was still reeling over that fact that it just clucked and talked. She pointed to the stone, "Did that thing just..."
Akari shook her head and forced the thought out. “Nevermind that. Let’s go.”
Marin and Akari run out of the woods and towards the open field.
Sakura struggled. She couldn’t see a thing. One of the fingers actually went inside her mouth. The taste was horrid; she gagged and almost vomited from the taste of rotting flesh. The arms held firm. The arms pulled harder, it felt like they were going to rip her arms off. Twenty hands held her. Each hand had five sharp claws. One hundred claws dug into her flesh, drawing blood. Blood was flowing from her chest, her arms, her ribs, everywhere the claws had dug into.
Her eyes darted to her left and she saw the origin of one of the arms. It was a ReDead, only its crimson eyes shone brightly in the dark. She kicked her legs around frantically. The ReDead screamed and bit down on her arm. Sakura closed her eyes tightly and lets out a muffled scream of fear and agony.
She felt another bite down on her shoulder. Another bit down on her ribs, getting the same reaction from her.
To die bounded in darkness, powerless to do a thing…
Akari and Marin leapt down into the large chasm Red and Sakura had fallen into an hour before. It was strange. The light was only a few feet above them, but it was as if the light is afraid to enter and refused to show itself. An illusion, perhaps?
“…Akari?” Marin’s voice echoed through the dark. “Quiet.” Akari’s voice replied.
“Marin,” Akari said, “Give me some light.”
“Alright.” Marin replied. There was a sound of an arrow head rubbing against the leather quiver as Marin drew it. She summoned a Light Arrow.
Light shone into the room in it’s purity from the arrowhead.
Akari looked around. Bullet and slash marks lined the walls. The coffins were destroyed. Around them, the ReDeads lay.
Akari sighed sadly, “…Red…how could you?” Marin asked timidly, unable to keep her eyes off the corpses around her, “W-what just happened…? Are those…”
Akari nodded, “These are ReDeads…corpses that have an ability to reanimate themselves. They only return from the dead to fend off intruders. If they catch an intruder, they’ll eat them and leave nothing but bones.
Marin backed up closer to Akari, keeping their backs pressed firmly against the others. If anything were to pop up, it wouldn’t be from behind.
“Will they…” Marin began. As if to answer her, the bodies twitched. Marin trembled. It was bad enough it was dark, but now she had to contend with walking corpses.
“Relax.” Akari said. Marin didn’t utter a word. Akari closed her eyes and calmly clasped her hands together.
The ReDeads, fully animated, began to walk towards them. Some had to drag themselves with their arms. Those unable to use their arms or legs just stared, just about all of them had bullet holes and cuts.
Still Akari stood calmly, her hands together, fingers intertwined, eyes closed.
“Akari!” Marin shouted, as the ReDeads neared them, they were five feet away. Akari and Marin were surrounded.
“…Urusei!” she unconsciously yelled, frustrated. Marin blinked, “…What?”
Akari cleared her throat and said calmly, “Just let me concentrate.”
Marin gave her a stunned look. The ReDeads were two feet away now, Marin cringed, able to make out every single detail on them, from the wrinkled and rotting flesh to the decayed black teeth and claws.
Marin closed her eyes, blotting out everything but the hideous smell. At this exact moment, Akari opened her eyes quickly and shouted at the top of her lungs, “LUMEN!!!”
There was a flash of intense white light. Then, the dark settled back in.
Passive Click by Red Sparrow
She couldn’t move.
Sakura opened her eyes slowly. The figures around her ceased to move, it was as if they had suddenly decided to hibernate before killing her.
She could feel the warmth of her blood all over herself. The constant dripping sounds of her blood splattering onto the cobblestone at a high tempo seemed to lull her to sleep.
She felt so tired…so sleepy.
She felt something else. A hand was pulling on her a few times, then went away. Soon she felt herself falling after a few jolts. She expected to feel the ground, but she didn’t. Someone was carrying her. “…Ken.” She whispered.
“I’m here.” Red’s voice replied.
“…I can walk…set me down…” she whispered again.
There wasn’t a response. He still carried her.
“I…I’m not…a baby anymore…damn…it.” She said and struggled. She opened her eyes and looked at him. He was carrying her in his arms, running down the hall. He himself was bloodied as well.
Sakura’s hand moved down to her revolver. She quickly draws it and plants the barrel firmly to the side of Red’s face. This caught his attention, “Now…” she said, steadying the revolver, “Set me down, dammit…”
Red looked at her for a moment before setting her down on her feet, Sakura stumbled back onto the cobblestone wall. There were no coffins here.
She placed her hand on the wall and leaned against it. She took a few restful breaths before woozily standing back up without any help. She looks at Red spitefully, “…I don’t need your help…”
Red looked away and nodded, “Alright…”
Sakura limped forward with Red beside her. He consciously walked slowly to avoid leaving Sakura behind.
Sakura blinked her eyes a few times. She was losing a lot of blood. Her blood splatters onto the ground in large drops with each step she took. Finally, the weakness caught up to her and she fell forward.
Red instinctively caught her. But she was heavier than he had thought; he took a step back to find some footing.
His foot phased through the floor. He looked over his shoulder and his mind clicked. This part of the panel was an illusion, there was actually a pit!
Even so, he couldn’t do a thing as they both fell through the fake panel. They fell for a few seconds before Red landed hard on his back. The ground knocked the wind out of him as he arched his back in pain and gasped for air. Sakura being on top wasn’t helping, either.
“You…” Sakura began, “…moron.”
Red pushed Sakura off of himself and sat up, holding his back and limping. They were in some sort of circular room. On the other side, there as a large stone door with the Sheikah insignia on it.
He noticed that the ground was unusually soft.
He turned to look at Sakura to see her standing on her own; she raised her gun to him.
Red took half a step back as she fired. The bullet flew past him and struck a pale tentacle-like arm. There was a shrill inhuman cry and the arm quickly slid back into the ground. Red quickly drew his sword and looked around. Sakura did the same, to the best of her ability.
Two more arms exploded out of the ground on the other side of the room and stretched themselves towards Sakura with blinding speed. Sakura aimed, but didn’t have enough time to pull the trigger. Both struck her in the chest and slammed her hard against the stone wall. She arched her back and cried out. The arms forced her to straighten out before letting her drop.
Seeing this Red turned around to see the same arms flying towards him. There were five this time. Red leapt backwards as the hands slammed into the ground where he once stood, throwing up earth and soil.
He slid backwards before stopping. He looked up to see nothing else.
He heard a shrill inhumane scream from directly behind that came with its own icy cold wind.
Red panicked and stumbled forward, spinning around to face whatever it was.
It wasn’t anything he had seen before. This monster was a pale white. It had red and blue eyes. There were a few cut marks on it. It seems it had come into contact with someone else before. The slashes were a bit crude and small, possibly from a small cheap sword. It had burn marks as well. It didn’t have arms and it constantly stared up at the ceiling. It had a long and thick neck that supported the hideous head of the being.
Suddenly, two arms exploded from the ground on both sides of Red. He couldn’t react fast enough and the arms grabbed his wrists, disabling him. He couldn’t move.
The creature slithered towards him, still staring up at the ceiling.
Sakura opened her eyes slowly. She saw Red’s predicament and drew her revolver. She noticed six bulging red bumps on the creature’s back.
It was the enigma’s hearts. She saw her revolver had only five bullets and cursed.
She knew what this was, she muttered, “Dead Hand…”
It didn’t matter, though…she’d think of something, she always did. But for now...
The bullet flew and struck it in one of the hearts, causing the Dead Hand to let out a shrill scream as one of its hearts exploded. The hands release Red and retreat back into the ground.
Sakura smirked and fired again, taking out another heart. Red saw what she was doing and decides to keep the Dead Hand busy. He slashes at it. The odd thing was, it wouldn’t bleed…it didn’t have blood. So what were the hearts for?
He didn’t think much about this.
Two hands shot out of the ground and flew towards Sakura, she aimed and was about to fire when two knives flew and impaled into the hands, causing another shrill cry from Dead Hand. Red smirks, he was still a great marksman.
Sakura looks at Red for a moment and shakes her head. She aims back at the Dead Hand and takes another shot, blowing away another heart.
“…Two bullets, three hearts.” She muttered. She looked around for something and saw Red deflect an arm flying at him, he slashed it and it disappeared back into the ground.
Sakura dragged herself to position the monster between her and Red. She sat up and leaned against the wall. She aimed at one of the hearts.
She called out, “Red, wanna play baseball?”
Red stared at her blankly, slowly a smile formed, he understood.
She nodded and fired, the bullet flew, striking one of the hearts, taking it out. The bullet flies out of the Dead Hand’s sternum as it screamed. Red quickly swings his sword and bats the bullet back at the Dead Hand; the bullet strikes it in the chest and plows out of its back towards Sakura.
Sakura twirls her revolver quickly, smacking the stray bullet up with a spinning smack from the barrel.
She aims the barrel with the final bullet at Dead Hand; the first stray bullet slowly begins its fall towards the ground in front of her. She times it when the bullet falls directly in front of the barrel. She fires, the final bullet flies out of the revolver and strikes the stray bullet, propelling both towards the Dead Hand. Both took out a heart.
The Dead Hand screams and falls to its side before sinking back into the dirt, disappearing once more.
The sounds of gears moving met their ears and the door opens, letting in a ray of light leading to the outside world.
Seeing this, Red runs to Sakura and helps her up. She was bleeding profusely. He could tell by the long thick trail of blood caused by her dragging herself across the ground. Not wanting help, she pushes him away.
She stumbles back and hits the wall. Before Red could help, Sakura raises her gun and aims at Red. She smirks, “I’ve saved one more bullet for you…”
She’ll never get a cleaner shot. She laughs, “All these years…all those nights of crying alone…it will all be worth it when I pull this trigger. I told you to watch your back...”
“Sakura…” Red began.
Sakura laughed weakly, “Your life is in my hands…I’ll finally be able to let this go…to move on. …When I pull this trigger.” Her blood splattered onto the ground.
“Ken-kun…” she whispered and pulled the trigger.
She had run out of ammo. She lets the gun drop to her side, never letting it go.
Sakura falls forward, knowing her brother was there to catch her.
Robin and Sparrow by Red Sparrow
"It's kinda sad it had to happen, really. Robin and Sparrow...they were the perfect couple. They were meant for each other."
“Robin and Sparrow”
Red, with Sakura in his arms limped for a few more yards. Making sure to keep some distance from the hidden Shadow Temple, he stopped and sets Sakura down beside a tree. He himself sat down, leaning against the bark. It was dark now. The sky was clear, allowing the stars to radiate fully along with the moon. He notices yet another Gossip Stone in front of him. Why were those things everywhere?
He was bandaged up, as was Sakura. She was unconscious so he had to do it himself.
He tilted his head back against the tree bark and lets out a heavy sigh, staring up at the sky for a few more moments before closing his eyes to rest after an hour and a half in that dreadful place of a temple.
After a few minutes of silence and relaxation, he heard a rustle and opened his eyes quickly. He turned to where Sakura was. She was gone. He looked around quickly before standing up. “Sakura?” he called out.
He turned around, his eyes darting between the trees and bushes for any sign of her. Finding none, he took a step forward. At this time, he heard a loud snap.
Red stopped suddenly as a knife flew from atop one of the treetops and missed his head by inches. He actually felt the wind from the knife as it flew past.
Red leapt backwards and drew his sword.
He looked around.
A male Sheikah draped in black with brown eyes and white hair fell from the tree tops behind Red, knife in one hand. Red saw the reflection of the Sheikah on his blade and spun quickly, performing a clockwise spin attack, knocking the blade away on the first swing and slicing at the assassin’s chest on the second and third spin.
The spin knocks the Sheikah away. Red watched as the assassin spun and landed on his feet, holding his chest.
Red was about to take a step forward when he heard a body drop from behind.
He turned around and saw Akari. Beside her was Marin. Between Red and Akari, a female Sheikah lay dead with a knife to her back. The first assassin was only a distraction for the female one to sneak up on him.
The injured male ninja drew three shuriken. But was interrupted as Akari’s kunai knife flies and stabs him in the chest, Akari had made her choice. She was sticking with Red.
The ninja fell back and lay there, not moving. Akari lets out a sigh of relief and walks up to Red, “You okay?”
Red smiled, “Well…no. Have you seen…?”
Something caught Akari’s attention. It was the male ninja. He was standing and looking at Akari with calm eyes despite the blood dripping from his chest. Marin gasped as Red turned to face him as well.
The Sheikah said in a hoarse voice, “…t-traitor…”
He quickly yanked Akari’s knife from his chest and threw it towards the gossip stone. Akari’s eyes widened as the blade struck the stone and impaled itself into it. There was a click followed by the slow sound of moving gears emanating from within the stone.
“For the mission…” the Sheikah fell backwards and hits the grass. There was a loud hiss coming from his body.
Marin realized what it was, “It’s a bomb!!!”
Akari didn’t care; she ran for the gossip stone behind the assassin’s body. “Akari!” Red and Marin yelled and grabbed Akari by the arms. Akari cried in a panicked way, “No!!! We have to stop the-”
The man explodes, knocking down the trio. The explosion struck the gossip stone. Almost immediately, the stone counted down. Each second was followed by gradually louder beeps. Akari limped to her feet, disoriented by the intense blast. Red and Marin followed suit, only to fall back down on one knee.
Akari stumbled forward towards the gossip stone in an alarmed attempt to stop the inevitable from occurring.
The final resounding beep sounded off and the Gossip Stone propelled itself into the air to Akari’s dismay.
Red and Marin watched in awe as the Gossip Stone flew a good two hundred feet into the air before erupting in a fiery colorful blaze.
Akari fell on her knees as she watched helplessly.
Every Sheikah in the area set their attention on the bright explosion in the air.
Kayji, along with a group of six other Sheikah, looked up to see the explosion from a mile away. Kayji whispered, “…Akari.” they all sprung into action.
Akari whispered, “No…no…no…”
Red and Marin knelt down beside her. Marin asked quickly, “What was that?”
Akari looked at Red and Marin before staring down at the ground. She said in a disillusioned voice, “They’re coming…we won’t live through this, theres just too many.”
Red and Marin knew what she was talking about, “We have to go!” Marin shouted. Red pulled her to her feet, “C’mon!” he yelled and pulled her.
Akari refused and shook her head, “It’s already too late. We can’t run.”
Red replied quickly, dismissing it, “We can try!”
Akari looked at Red for a moment with pained eyes, “I’m so sorry Red…”
“What are you talking about? Let’s go!” Red yelled, yanking at her.
Akari closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, “I know a place we might be able to hide in…follow me.” She knew it was hopeless, but she had an idea. But it would come at a terrible price.
The trio, after a bit of running and cutting through trees entered a small forest meadow.
“What is this place?” Marin asked. Akari spoke without looking at her, she just stared straight ahead, “This is the boarder to the town known as Peractio.”
“I never knew there was a place like this in Peractio.” Marin muttered in wonder to herself.
Red looked at her and asked quickly, “How do you know they won’t find us here?”
Akari went silent for a moment before replying, “This place has a large concentration of paranormal energy. So much that, I’ll be able to harness it and drape this place with Genjutsu.”
“Uhm…in Hylian, please.” Marin said blankly. Red sighed and said, “Basically it’s a type of illusionary technique, in a way.”
Akari nodded slowly, “That’s kind of what it is.”
Marin nodded, understanding, “Oh…well, what are you waiting for?”
Akari hesitated before saying, “Well…theres a catch.”
Red raised a brow, “…A catch?”
Akari nodded, “You know…I wanna thank you two for being so nice to me. After those times I’ve treated you all like dirt and made fun of you…you always had the strength of character to call me a friend. That means a lot.”
Red raised a brow, “Is there something about this catch…”
Marin interrupted and took a step forward, “Akari…we’ll stick together, won’t we? We’re still friends and that’s what counts. We’ll get through everything together, right? …Right?” Marin looked desperate, “Because…if you’re going to do what I think you’re going to do…”
“I guess…” Akari began, “I haven’t been totally honest with you.” She closes her eyes and shakes her head, “No. Actually…I’ve lied to you guys since the beginning. I’m a Sheikah…I…I was sent here to kill you…both of you.” She looks at Red, “You’re priority one.”
Red and Marin look at her in shock.
Akari turned away, “I expected as much…” Red was about to say something when Akari continued, “To tell you the truth…I was never happy doing what I’ve been doing. Faking everything to gain your trust, it should’ve been easy. But…what I think got to me the most wasn’t the fact that we were ‘friends’. It was your personalities.” She laughs quietly and shakes her head, “I mean…you two have got to be the most na´ve people on the face of this planet. You trust people too easily…and, I…I was like that once.”
“Akari…” Red began, “where are you going with this? What are you planning to do?”
Akari turned back to Red and whipped a tear away, “My name…my name isn’t Akari…call me by my real name. It’s Erika.” Red paused then nodded. Akari continued, “I’m tired of running away from my past like a scared little girl…I’m tired of lying to myself. I’m not Akari…I’m not some crazy killer with no feelings. I’m…I’m a Half Hylian…and I’m proud of it. For years…I’ve lived a lie…” she closes her eyes and clenches her fists, “For once in my life, I’m going to do something useful. I’m going to be honest with myself.” She looks them both of them in the eyes, “I’ll help the only two friends I’ve ever had. And make my parents proud.”
“But you’re no good dead!” Marin suddenly yells, speaking for both Red and herself.
Akari smiled faintly, “…But neither are you two. You two have something important to finish. You have to save this world from darkness.”
Red shook his head, “No…we go together.” He looked at her sternly, “If you’re going to take them on…we are, too.” Marin agreed.
Akari smiled, “You two are so na´ve it’s funny…do you two really think three against hundreds are good odds? Hell, if this was any different, I’d hand you two over…It’s crazy. It’s suicide. Only an idiot would take on an entire clan by themselves.”
“That’s why you have to stay.” Marin begged, “Just don’t go out there and get yourself killed. Don’t be an idiot.”
Akari shook her head and laughed, “You know, normal Akari would’ve agreed…but I think I’ve hung around you two dumbasses for too long. I think I got infected with your idiocy so I’m not thinking straight.”
“…Why don’t you just cast the Jutsu thing on all of us?!” Marin pleaded.
“That’s the catch…the technique can only shield two.” Akari said flatly.
Red stepped forward, “I’ll go.”
Akari shook her head, “No, you moron. You’re such a fucking retard. Did you forget what’s glowing on your left hand? You too, Marin. You both have a score to settle with a special someone. I’m not as valuable as you two. I’ll try my best to buy you two some time.”
Akari turned around, putting her hands in her pockets, “Don’t try to stop me,” she walked away, “I’ll cast the spell as soon as I’m in range, you two sit tight.”
Red took a step forward, “If you think I’ll just let you go, you’re…”
Akari suddenly turned around and threw a dart at Red, hitting him in the neck. Red quickly yanked the dart out and looked at it. He looked at Akari, starting to get woozy.
He dropped the dart and said, “…Akari…Erika, don’t…don’t…” he collapsed.
Marin gasped; she ran to Red’s side and knelt beside him. She looked up to see Akari looking at her softly.
Akari places her hand on Marin’s shoulders and stands her up. Marin expected her to knock her out as well with a dart, but she didn’t.
Instead, Akari hugged her tightly. Marin, unsurely hugged her back, knowing this was the end. Akari hugged her in silence for a few more moments before saying, “Marin. Take care of him for me, ok? He does a lot of dumb things and I need you to make sure he stays out of trouble.”
“But…” Marin started.
Akari spoke again, “Promise me. Please. Promise me as a friend.”
“I…I promise.” Marin said.
Akari nodded, “Thatagirl.”
Akari paused before saying, "About your father...remember him as he was. Please, this man...it isn't the same person you've grown to love. He's a horrid man. Stop him. Save him from himself." Marin looked shocked that Akari knew. Akari continued, "And one more thing...I think you should tell Red. Tell him now before it's too late. Don't let him slip away."
She gave Marin a hard punch to the stomach. Marin gasps for breath but refused to let go. She kept her arm around her, until she faded into unconsciousness. Akari steps backwards as Marin slides down in front of her and collapses beside Red.
Akari looks at the both of them for a few moments before walking over to Red.
She kneels beside him and says softly even though she knew he couldn’t hear, “This is good-bye, Red. Maybe we’ll see each other again someday. It’s weird…like a Sparrow and a Robin; we might have made the perfect couple.” She shook her head.
She reached into her pocket and pulled out an old blue scarf. It was still in good condition despite the age. She leaned in and wrapped it around his neck. She kissed him softly on the lips and whispered, “Good bye, Red Sparrow…this Robins gotta fly. We’ll sing later.”
She stands up and walks away. Akari repeats the sentence to herself to make her feel better, “…We’ll see each other again one day. Hopefully, we’ll both remember this promise.”
She leapt forward, and in true Sheikah fashion, she disappeared as soon as her feet left the ground.
Second Step to a Tragedy by Red Sparrow
“Second Step to a Tragedy”
Kayji stood atop the branches of the tallest tree he could find. His eyes dart left and right for any sign of Akari’s group.
Every Sheikah ninja was on high alert.
A knife broke through the leaves behind him. Kayji snatched the knife out of the air without turning around.
He examined the blade and slammed it into the tree trunk. He said calmly, “Get her.”
Five ninjas appeared around him. All five, including Kayji leapt towards the origin of the blade and vanished.
Kayji landed in a meadow, different from the one Red and Marin was lying in.
He glanced around, “Split up and search for her.” he ordered. There was a faint rustle as the hidden ninjas around him obeyed.
An explosion rocked the earth to his left. He saw the faint receding red light and dashed for it.
Akari leapt backwards and threw three kunai knives at a blond female ninja. The knives struck her in the chest, causing the ninja to fall onto a tree branch. She bounced off and hit a few more on her way down to the ground. Akari glances over her shoulder.
She draws another knife and throws it into a tree trunk, striking a thin thread in the process, triggering her trap. Four ninja stars flew out of the bushes beside her and into the bushes on the other side, striking a Sheikah in hiding.
She looks up to see two more male Sheikah fall from the sky, she feinted backwards, avoiding them. She turns and sees Kayji rush up to her, already in mid-swing with his kunai knife. She blocked with her own, throwing up sparks.
Both of them avoided looking into each other’s eyes, they both had a job to do. Kayji’s was to kill her. Akari’s was to survive long enough for Red and Marin to recover and escape.
She sensed the other two ninja begin their own attack.
She releases her knife and leaps into the air, out of harms way as the two other male ninja leap after her. She lands on a tree branch, leaping off of it quickly to avoid another knife attack.
She landed on another across from the last one, only to jump once more as two ninja stars impaled themselves at the spot she occupied a split second before.
She turns in mid-air and blocks a slash from Kayji.
The two other ninja land on different branches only to leap after her again.
“There’s no place to run.” Kayji said, pushing her away with his interlocked blade. She couldn’t maneuver in mid-air.
The two ninjas flanked her; one on her right, one on her left. They both had knives, she managed to block one attack at her right with her blade. The one from her left, she caught with her bare hands. The ninja yanked his knife back quickly, slicing open the palm of her hand. Blood fell.
Akari winced and tried to kick the left ninja away, still holding the block with her right blade. The ninja simply caught her leg, swung her and threw her towards the ground.
Akari somersaulted and landed on her feet, her knees buckled from the speed of her landing. Her feet sank into the hard packed soil. The force of her landing threw grass, dirt and dew every which way. The dew shone brightly in the moonlight and sparkled like the stars.
She looked up and saw the two ninjas fall to her at blinding speed. She drew two ninja stars and threw them up. The two stars were deflected easily. She leapt out of the way and rolled to safety as the two ninjas slammed their blades into the dirt.
She drew her short sword and gestured the two over with her free hand and said, “C’mon, boys…is this girl too fast for you?”
The two ninjas dash forward. She charged them as well.
She leapt into the air. The two ninjas skid to a stop as she flew above them. Akari drew kunai knives and threw them while spinning in the air upside down to spread the knives out with style.
The five knives impale themselves around the stunned ninjas.
She lands, kneeling with her back turned to them and says, “Boom.”
The wind blew, causing the explosive paper tags tied to the knives to flutter before catching fire and exploding, killing the two ninjas.
“-behind you!” Kayji’s voice called out. Akari turns quickly and blocks. For a split second, their eyes met. “Akari…” Kayji began. They both strained as their blades pushed against the others.
“Don’t call me that…” Akari said coldly.
Kayji matched her tone and said, “…you’ve made a mistake, you’ve made the wrong choice, Akari…as much as it hurts me to say this, I’ll have to take you out.”
“No one is forcing you to do this!” Akari answered sharply.
Kayji leapt backwards, away from Akari. She does the same at the same time.
They both skid for a few feet before stopping.
“This is my life…” Kayji said, “I’m a ninja of the Sheikah clan…The Shadow Folk, The Harukage. I was born into the clan. This is all I know, all I’ve lived for. As a Sheikah, I live only for the mission. You should know that. I can’t throw everything I’ve grown up with away…not like you.”
Akari looked him over and said softly, “I know it’s hard to understand...unlike you, I was born outside the clan. I’ve known the outside world since I was little. I know how cruel people can get…I know how evil people are to things they don’t understand.”
“Then why leave us?” Kayji asked, “Why leave me?”
Akari lets her knife fall to her side. She held it tightly, “Because…because now I know that…there are people out there who won’t always hurt you. There are actually kind people in the world beyond all the evil and unforgiving bastards who run this world. I have to find those people. I can’t do it if I’m stuck here…stuck as Akari.”
Akari lets the silence settle in, “I…I want to help people…I want to find the good in them.”
Kayji stared in disbelief. Suddenly, out of the bushes, a female brunette ninja leaps out and begins her attack. Akari turns quickly and blocks. Kayji rushes forward and joins the fray.
Akari kicks the ninja away as she turned to parry Kayji’s lunge. The femme ninja landed on her feet and rejoined the fight as well.
Akari drew a second knife with her free hand and blocked the ninja’s attack. The three were locked in a desperate fight to the death. It was two on one, but Akari held her own, blocking and attacking with a knife and sword.
Kayji feinted to his right, dodging Akari’s attack. He kicks her hard in the back of her left knee, causing her to fall on one knee. The female ninja took this chance and swung her blade towards Akari’s head. Akari dodged left, causing the blade to stab her right shoulder instead.
Akari cries out and drops the sword she held with her right hand. She leaps backwards and landed on her feet. She breathed heavily as the knife stayed in her shoulder firmly, rendering it useless. Blood dripped out.
The ninja snatched up Akari’s sword and ran towards her. Kayji comes up from behind.
Kayji reaches Akari first and swung his blade. Akari turned and blocked with own knife. Her right arm was useless, it didn’t respond. Most of the nerves were cut. Her left arm held the blade blocking Kayji’s.
The female ninja reached them and swung again at Akari. Akari sees this and draws the bloodied blade from her shoulder with her teeth and blocks with it.
The three were locked in a stalemate.
Kayji draws a second blade with his free hand and slams it into Akari’s ribs, breaking the stalemate.
Akari cries out in pain, inadvertently releasing the block with the blade in her mouth. The female ninja retracts her blade and slams it into Akari’s back.
Akari falls on her knees and cried out in anguish.
Kayji releases the blade and leaps back. Akari turns her attention to the female ninja.
The ninja was in the middle of drawing her last knife to finish Akari off.
Akari reaches into her satchel with her left hand and draws a pack of exploding paper. She rises and head butts the ninja in the forehead.
The ninja stumbled backwards and recovers. Akari raises her foot slightly and stomps hard on the female ninja’s foot.
The ninja opened her mouth and yelled out in pain. Akari took this moment to shove entire roll of paper in her mouth. She kicks the ninja away. Akari draws the bloodied knife from her back and twirls it. She yells, “Choke on this!”
She throws the knife and strikes the roll of paper in the ninja’s mouth. The paper immediately ignites and explodes; the force of the explosion threw dirt, debris, blood and cloth everywhere, knocking down both Akari and Kayji.
As the smoke clears, Kayji stands up dizzily. He looks to see Akari limp out of the smoke, bloodied and injured. She held her sword.
“Why, Akari?” Kayji asked the bloodied figure known as Akari, “Why did you defect?”
Akari looked at him as blood dripped down her face, covering one eye. She said weakly, “Because I chose to…I wanted this.”
“I don’t understand…” Kayji spoke, “…What did I do wrong?”
“It’s not you…” Akari started, “This is my choice. This is my life…I’m not Akari, the Sheikah…I’m Erika…the daughter of Jeoni the Gerudo and Richard the Hylian. I can’t forget my origins. I’m just not fit to live the life you live, that’s all.”
Kayji shook his head sadly. He readied his weapon, “I…I’m so sorry, Akari. I thought we meant something to each other.”
Akari stayed silent before responding, “Kayji, you can make a choice right now…are you really happy like this?”
Kayji hesitated, “…I…”
Akari delved deeper, her blood dripped faster now as her vision weakened. Still, she spoke, “You have to be in control of yourself, Kayji…if you’re not happy…do something about it. It’s your life…live it the way you want to.”
Kayji shook his head and ran towards her, “I can’t!” he yelled and swung at her. Akari doubled backwards and fell. She couldn’t fight anymore. She’s lost too much blood. Kayji swings at her again. Akari raises her blade in a feeble attempt to block. Their blades clash, but Akari loses her grip and her sword sails away. She feels Kayji’s blade against her throat.
“Kayji…” Akari began. Kayji lets a tear drop, “I am a Sheikah, I will kill when ordered. I will never question orders. I will always obey and have no opinion. I am a tool, a weapon. Like weapons, I cannot show any emotions in the field…”
He lets another tear drop.
Akari closes her eyes and waits.
Kayji drops the knife. It sinks into the grass.
“I…can’t.” Kayji whispered, “…I…I don’t want this.”
Akari looks up slowly. Kayji shakes his head in disbelief, “I can’t kill you.” Akari smiles faintly, “…Kayji.”
Kayji looks at the ground, “…I want to help you…I want to see what it is that made you change.”
Akari nodded, “…Thank you.”
Kayji jolts suddenly. Akari looks up and sees a thin blade protruding from his chest. Akari’s eyes widened, “Kayji!!!”
He jolts seven more times as more blades slam into his body, he stares at her and whispers, “…Akari.”
He falls and doesn’t move.
Akari turns and looks at the source of Kayji’s death. She realizes in horror who it was.
“…So, this is how Akari looks like.” A man’s voice said. He stepped forward out of the trees and into the moonlight. It was Link.
Akari struggled to her feet. Her vision began to blur, but she blinks it away and yanks Kayji’s knife from her ribs, releasing some more blood flow.
Link smiles, “I’ve heard a lot about you. My daughter was so excited about letting you meet me.”
“Marin…” Akari whispered.
He nods, “It just so happens that I was in the neighborhood. I planned to surprise the three of you, but then I heard some ruckus…and here I find you, Akari.”
Akari stepped forward but fell on her knees.
Link examined her and said, “I’m surprised…Erika, daughter of a Gerudo and a Hylian. I never would have expected you to turn out like this.”
Akari looked shocked, “…how…?”
Link smiled, “Didn’t daddy tell you? He worked for me. He was a spy for me to keep the town in check.”
“What…? How…It’s not…It can’t be…” Akari stammered.
“Richard was his name, correct?” Link smirked, “So you were the girl who caused him to go out of his way to get his family out of Windfall.” Akari stared in shock as Link continued, “His job was simple. Report back to me on what the town’s leaders were up to. I had a suspicion of the mayor’s identity. Everything was going fine until he wanted out of this operation. He told me about how it was dangerous for his family.”
Link scoffed, “It was his fault…falling in love and making a family while in the middle of a mission. I refused to let him leave. The mission was far too important. Then, he tried to double cross me in a feeble attempt to escape the operation…I secretly arranged the entire murder, Akari my dear…”
Akari shook as anger began to fuel her, “…You…you did that…?! I…how could you do such a thing!”
“Simple…” Link began, “After seeing blood for so long, you tend to grow used to it. Killing gets easier the more you do it. It was as simple as an exchange of words.”
Akari stood, then fell back on her knees in a weakened attempt to get at him, “I’ll kill you!!!” she screamed.
Link shook his head, “Aren’t you forgetting something? I’m immortal…I can’t die. But immortality is only the first step. Once I reclaim all three Triforce pieces I will become the second being to transcend into divinity!!! I will become a GOD!!”
He looked at Akari easily. She wouldn’t be able to hurt him. She was helpless. She was harmless.
He spoke coldly, “There will be casualties…that can’t be helped. A revolution cannot complete itself without sacrifice.”
Akari’s tears roll down her face, “…You killed my parents…”
“Did that finally sink in, Akari?...Poor, ignorant, stupid Akari...” Link taunted.
“My...name...is..." Akari stood slowly, blood dripping from her body and splattering onto the ground. She gripped her weapon tightly as tears rolled freely down her cheeks, "...Erika!!!” Akari cried out and ran towards him, leaving a trail of blood.
Link narrowed his eyes and drew his sword, “Stupid girl!”
Aftermath in Moonlight by Red Sparrow
“Aftermath in Moonlight”
Akari charged, but stumbled at the last moment. She had lost too much blood. Everything was slanting from side to side for her. Even so, she slashed at Link. Link didn’t budge, but smacked the blade aside with his own. He spoke as Akari stumbled to the right and fell on one knee, “You’re much too weak…Erika.”
Akari panted for breath. She rose again. Determination shone through her bloodied face. Link lazily stepped in front of her. He extended his palm to her face, just as he did to Vale. An orb of light glowed. Akari would’ve moved, but she couldn’t see or stand correctly.
She stumbled backwards, away from the deadly orb. She knew he was toying with her; it sickened her because she knew she couldn’t do a thing about it. Link fires and purposely misses Akari. The orb flies and strikes the woods behind Akari, throwing pieces of bark and dirt everywhere. Akari flinches.
“Why don’t you just make it easier on both of us and stand still?” Link muttered playfully. Akari clutched the knife tightly. She stood and steadied herself. She stared at the ground has her blood taints the grass in red.
She lets out a tear. After all this, she is just too weakened to do anything.
She shook her head, I’ve got to try…I’m still breathing…that’s all that counts.
Link spoke, breaking her thoughts, “Why do you keep trying, Erika? You’ll only fall right back down. You know it’s useless.”
“I…I can try…” Akari muttered as blood seeped out of the wound on her forehead. Link shook his head, “You’ve got courage, girl, I’ll give you that.”
Akari ran towards him and attacked him again with another slash. Link catches her attack by the wrist this time and yanks her closer. He wrenches her wrist painfully, causing her to cry out and fall on her knees, dropping the knife. He yanks her back up and forces her to stand. He speaks, “But sometimes…courage just isn’t enough.”
He twists her wrist even further, she screams as her wrist snaps. She could feel the bone snap. Yet Link still holds on, “You need something more than courage. Righteous Courage will only get you lost without Wisdom to guide it. Patient Wisdom is useless if you don’t have the Power. Genuine Power cannot be correctly used without the Courage to carry it through.”
He tightens the grip on her broken wrist, “THAT is what I desire. THAT is the meaning of the Triforce! It’s not just a relic to grant wishes, it’s a symbol for BALANCE! And without balance…” He twirls his sword, “you fall.”
He lets go of her wrist. She begins to fall to the side, but Link’s hand quickly grabs her neck, lifting her up, letting her feet dangle. He says slowly, choking her, “Give my regards to your father.”
He throws her towards a tree. She flies and hits the hard tree trunk with her back. She cries out and arches her back as she begins to slide towards the ground.
Before her feet could hit the ground, Link throws his sword towards her.
Red opened his eyes. His head was beating like a drum.
He closed his eyes for a few more minutes before opening them again. He turned his head to his left and saw Marin lying beside him.
He placed his fingers on his lips but didn’t know why.
He blinked and thought for a few moments. His mind began to recollect everything that had happened. He felt a blue scarf around his neck. He glanced at it, feeling the material in his hand.
His mind clicked.
Red sits up quickly and yells out in frustration.
He stood, but fell on one knee. The drug still had some effect.
He looked to Marin and shook her, “Marin—wake up!”
Marin’s eyes open halfway, “…huh…?”
Red ignored her drowsiness and asked hastily, “Where’s Akari!”
Marin’s eyes fly wide open.
They both stood and ran for the foliage as best and as fast as they could.
Sakura limped into the town of Peractio. To her surprise, it seemed deserted. That was expected. A town this close to the death-filled Hyrule was bound to die as well. She kneels and leans her head against the glass window of a dismantled wooden building. Her mind was a mess. She didn’t know what to do next.
The tall tower of Hyrule pierced through the clouds. You’d be able to see it even from a town this far away.
She felt disenchanted. She had so many chances to kill her brother, but she couldn’t carry it out.
“Grandpa…” she whispered sadly, on the verge of tears, she fought them back and refused to cry, “…I miss you so much.”
She shuts her eyes tightly and tilts her head down, “I want to go home…”
Sakura shivered. This time, she didn’t have a cloak to protect herself from the cold.
Winter…she hated the winter.
Red turned his head and saw a kunai knife impaled deeply into a tree bark.
Marin caught up to him and asked, “Do you see anything?”
Red didn’t respond and bolted into the bushes.
Marin stumbled after him, steadying herself, she yelled, “Wait!”
Both Red and Marin burst through the trees and they find themselves at a meadow. Red’s eyes dart around, taking in the destroyed trees. The knives and weapons impaled into the ground and bark, along with the bodies scattered along the ground.
Marin took the sight in silently as well.
“She really did it…” Marin muttered, “She took them all on.”
“Not all of them.” Red replied, “This is just a single unit. The others are out there somewhere.” He stepped forward, going deeper into the battle torn meadow.
Marin nodded slowly. She looks around at the trees while following Red.
“Dammit, Akari…where are you?” Red asked.
Marin’s eyes scanned the premises, searching.
They both journey further into the meadow. Red turns and freezes. Marin wasn’t watching where she was going and bumps into him.
She looks up and gasps.
Akari was against the tree bark. A sword was plunged through her chest. Her head was down, her eyes closed. Blood dripped off the edge of the blade.
Marin covered her mouth and fell on her knees. She keeled over and threw up. Red froze, taking in the sight. He closed his eyes and turned away, clenching his fists.
“Marin, help me.” Red said. She looked up and saw Red wrap his hands around the handle of the sword. Marin stared before nodding. She stood up slowly, trying hard not to look at Akari. She wrapped her hands around the handle as well and they both struggled to yank the sword from its bloodied pedestal.
Finally, the sword withdrew from Akari and the tree. Red releases the sword and catches Akari as she fell limply into his arms. Marin examines the blade and something catches her eye. It was an insignia carved into the blade.
It was a phoenix gripping the Triforce in its talons.
Realization dawned on her. It wasn’t the Sheikah who had killed Akari.
Marin dropped the sword and stared on as Red tried his best to stay in control, to not break down...but failing miserably.
...That phoenix was the symbol of royalty. Only one of royal stature may don it.
It was her father.
Third Step to a Tragedy by Red Sparrow
“Third Step to a Tragedy”
“I…never got to say good-bye.” Red whispered as he set the flowers onto Akari’s chest. Marin did the same, but her mind was elsewhere. It was on her father, Link.
They stood there in silence, absorbing what had happened. Red spoke ever gently, “Marin.”
Marin didn’t respond. She was deep in thought. “Marin…” Red repeated, snapping Marin back into reality.
She looked at him, their eyes met.
Red said, “We have to go.”
Marin glanced at Akari and asked quickly, “What? Why?”
“The Sheikah are still around, we can’t stay here long.” Red replied, turning back to Akari.
“No…we can’t. We can’t leave her here.” Marin answered softly.
“We have to.” Red said, “Let’s go.”
Marin shook her head, “We have to give her a proper…”
“Dammit Marin, listen to me!” Red shouted, catching her off guard, “We can’t stay here. If we do, they’ll catch us for sure. Akari gave her life for us; we have to do our best to make sure her sacrifice wasn’t in vain.”
“She’s a friend! We can’t leave her!” Marin shouted back, tears began to form. She was so confused; it made her angry and distressed all at once, “She would never leave you!”
“That’s because she wanted to kill me!” Red countered, reminding the both of them why Akari had stuck with them for so long.
“…You're heartless…” Marin muttered. She knelt beside Akari and ran her fingers through her soft black hair.
Marin looked up at him and said sadly, “It hurts…I don’t think I can go on…this is all happening so fast. I’m so confused. I’m feeling so many different things right now…”
Red shook his head, “Listen…I know it hurts, but…standing here…wishing she’d come back won’t work. Believe me. I’ve done it lots of times. When I lost my parents, that’s all I’d wish for.” he lingered on the thought before saying, “When my dad died, I was still young, I lost my innocence. The man I idolized and looked up to is no longer in my life.”
Red said softly, “I wished for my parents…both of them, and at the time, my sister too. Somehow, a part of me still refuses to believe they’re really gone.”
“Then…how do you keep yourself from falling apart?” Marin asked, staring down at Akari. Red paused and said, “I keep living and I try to make the best of everything. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. Burying it doesn’t help, either. I had to let go and move on…but I can’t forget them, either. Believe me, after awhile, the pain numbs. It’s always there, but sometimes, it disappears, and you feel like you’re living again.”
“That doesn’t make sense.” Marin whispered.
Red stared into the woods and said, “…Please, Marin…we can’t stay here any longer.”
“How can you be so calm? Akari just died…” Marin muttered in disbelief.
Red didn’t answer, instead, he said, “Let’s go…”
“I’m staying.” Marin said, unyielding.
Red began to walk. Marin yelled to him from nowhere, “Why do you always have to try to pretend everything is okay when it isn’t?!”
His back was still to her.
Marin stood up, “Akari is dead. Our friend is dead! She’s never coming back! Don’t you have any feelings at all? She cared about you! And you’re just going to walk off?! Shrug it off like it was nothing? You preach to me like you know everything! Well you don’t! When someone dies, a part of you die as well! We lost someone…someone we can never replace. It hurts!” she was crying freely now, “I…I can’t let go like you. Not so easily. Not so quickly…Because unlike you, I still have a heart. Your heart died when she did!”
“Shut up!” Red yelled suddenly, “What do you want from me?! You want me to sit here and cry?! Is that what you want? This isn’t some damn story! This is real! This is real life! We’re living, breathing people who are born in a screwed up world! We’re not characters in some made-up story! If we die, it’s over, nothing else can happen. We stay dead! Do you think I’ve forgotten?!” Red had lost control of himself, yelling things before he had time to think, “This isn’t a fucking fairy tale! We’re not guaranteed a happy ending! Anything can happen! The people we care about can die the next day without warning! This is life! There is nothing we can do about that! We have to press forward and see what happens next! If you don’t, you lose! You die! It’s over! Understand?!”
Marin stared. She watched as Red wiped a tear away with his forearm. Marin looks down to Akari’s still serene face. Marin’s tear had fallen on Akari’s face, making it look as if Akari was crying as well. Marin wiped the tear away and whispered to her, “It’s okay, Akari…he didn’t mean it.”
Red closed his eyes and tried to calm himself down.
“I’m…” Marin began. Red waited for an answer. Marin continued, “I’m coming…”
Red didn’t budge as Marin snapped her cloak off and pulled it over Akari’s body.
She stood up and walked towards Red. She stopped beside him.
They both stood there, one afraid to look at the other. Marin and Red took a deep breath and said at the same time, “I’m sorry…”
They both stopped and looked at each other. As soon as their eyes met, they looked away.
Red nodded slowly, “…Listen, those things I said…”
Marin stopped him, “Its okay…I guess you really cared after all…I was just too blind to see it at first.” She paused and said, “It really does hurt, but…” she clasped her hand in his, “We’re friends and we’ll get through this together.”
She squeezed his hand firmly. Red squeezed back and nodded. They let go and walk towards Peractio.
Link was standing on an old three story building, staring at Hyrule. He was in Kakariko. Volvagia, his deadly fully grown dragon was waiting patiently just outside Kakariko.
Without turning, he muttered, “…Kiara.”
Vale’s older sister, Kiara, walked towards him. She stopped beside him and stared out at Hyrule. Kiara spoke, her black mage’s cloak fluttering in the wind, “How are you?”
Link raised a brow at the strange question and answered, “I’m just fine. But I’m sure you’re not here just to ask me how my day was, are you?”
Kiara smiled faintly and nodded, “Actually…I have a favor to ask of you…”
He turned to her, “What is it? Does it have something to do with Vale?”
Kiara paused and nodded slowly. Link turned back to Hyrule, “I thought I killed her…”
Kiara shook her head, “No, she’s stronger than that. She has a strong will to live…” Link nodded faintly, registering this, “Just like Saria.” Link said.
Kiara paused and nodded, “Yes.”
Link continued to negotiate Kiara, “Did you kill her?”
Kiara paused for a long time before answering, “…No.” Link smiled, “So you couldn’t do it after all.”
Link shook his head and muttered, “So what is this favor you’re asking of me?”
Kiara answered carefully, “I let Vale live because she is too…weak at the moment. I'm hoping she'll get stronger with time. It didn’t seem right to destroy my last relation without a good fight. It was too easy. I want a good final duel.”
“But that wasn’t the only reason, was it?” Link questioned.
Kiara smiled, Link was sharp. Kiara shook her head, “No, it wasn’t…”
Link replied easily, “So, the favor…what is it?”
Red and Marin enter Peractio. They both took in the site of gloomy despair. They walked on, past the rubble, past the faded memory of a great town. They could both see the tower representing Hyrule. The tower that made Ganon’s Tower look miniscule compared to it.
“We can stay here for the night. We’ll rest up…” Red said.
Marin nodded slowly, “…okay.”
Red walked towards the most stable house he could find and gestured her over. Marin follows. Red tried the door, but it doesn’t budge. He struggles with the doorknob.
Marin decides to try, but fails as well. They both back up and ready themselves.
“On the count of three...” Red said, “One…two…”
“Three!” both of them said in unison and rush the door, kicking it down. The door falls inside the house, throwing dust everywhere. Marin and Red cover their face to keep themselves from inhaling too much of the airborne dust. As the dust settled, they removed their hands from their mouths and proceed on in.
It was warm here for some odd reason. There was an old fireplace here that seemed workable. Even a stove if fixed properly. It was a good place to spend the night.
“…Well…what do you think?” Red asked.
Marin smiled faintly, “I’d never live here, though.”
They both laugh quietly. They needed anything they can to try to lighten up the dark moment and get their minds off a great loss, no matter how small.
Something catches Marin’s eye and she walks past Red and towards the fireplace. She kneels and pulls something out from the ground. It was covered in dust. She blew the dust and dirt off the object and revealed it as a small hand mirror. The glass was scratched so bad that it was hard to make anything out in the reflection.
Red stopped beside her and muttered, “…A mirror.”
Marin nodded and stood up slowly, “I have something to do…” she said, trying to sound casual.
“What is it?” Red asked.
Marin smiled to him, saying the first thing that popped in her mind, “…Nature calls…”
Red nodded slowly, “…with a mirror?”
Marin smiled faintly, “My hair is messed up, I want to fix it and there is light outside.” She said, without thinking. It was pitch black outside, save for the stars and moon shining down.
Red raised a brow and nodded again, “Alright.”
Marin backed up and began for the door. Red said, “Just don’t wander too far; we don’t know what’s out there…”
Marin smiled, “Don’t worry…I’ll be back in five minutes.”
She left Red to himself. Red looked at her curiously. She was definitely up to something. He felt compelled to follow her.
Marin, after walking a good distance away from the house Red was supposedly waiting for her in, knelt down against the side of a building and looked at the mirror. With her free hand, she clasped her Goron’s Ruby.
Both objects glowed faintly.
“…Daddy?” Marin whispered to the glowing mirror. Link’s face slowly formed in the glass. He looked surprised, “Marin, how are you, honey? I wasn’t expecting another call so late.”
Marin smiled faintly and said, “I manage.”
Link nods, “You must’ve gotten that from your mother.”
Marin smiled again. She loved it when he said she was like her mother, Malon. She grew up without knowing her. She only heard of her through the stories Link would tell. It was all she had to go by.
Marin turned serious and asked, “Daddy…I have a question.”
Link lingered for a moment before replying, “Yes?”
Marin hesitated before asking, “…Where were you today?”
Link raised a brow, “At Hyrule, of course…waiting for you.” Marin didn’t believe him, “…I found something that’s yours, daddy.”
Link stopped. He went silent, “…You have…”
Marin nodded, “Tell me the truth, daddy. Did you…kill...”
Link interrupted her, “You’re a smart girl, Marin, but you mustn’t believe everything. That sword is obviously fake, the insignia can be forged you know.”
She shook her head as she realized that she had never mentioned the object as a sword, “…How did you know it was a sword?”
Link realized his mistake and paused. He closed his eyes for a moment before looking at his daughter sternly, “Either way, I’m heading for Peractio right now.”
“So you did…you killed Akari!” Marin exclaimed, “Why did you do it?!”
Link sighed. He laughed it off and said, “She was trying to kill you, I had to protect you. She was an assassin, it was all a set-up.”
“How…how did you know she was an assassin? How did you know it was a set-up?” Marin asked, feeling herself getting ever closer to the truth once and for all. Link snapped at her, “It doesn’t matter how I know! The only thing that matters is that you’re safe and you still have the Goron’s Ruby. I’m on my way right now to pick you up.”
“What about Red?” Marin asked quickly, “Are you going to kill him as well?!”
“If that is what it takes to get what I need, then I will…” Link replied coldly.
“No, you can’t!” Marin shouted.
She cried out as a knife flew and shattered through the mirror, breaking the communication between her and her father. She instinctively dropped the rest of the pieces.
She turned and saw Red. Marin gasped, “Red!”
Red lowered his hand and muttered as the truth dawned on him. He couldn't believe it, “…So…it was you…”
The Defining Moment by Red Sparrow
“The Defining Moment”
Red holds her by the shoulders and pins her against the wall, “That was your father, wasn’t it?!”
Marin cried out, “Please stop!”
Red tightened his grip onto her shoulder, “Tell me!”
“Y…yes…” Marin submitted. Red froze for a moment before saying, “What does he want with me?”
Marin didn’t answer.
Red shook her violently, “Now!”
“He…he wants your piece of the Triforce…” Marin whimpered.
Red paused as his mind worked frantically to make sense of everything. Red softened his voice, “And what about you? What was all that bullcrap about friends? You were going to deliver me to ‘daddy’ just like that?”
Marin shook her head, “…Daddy…my father…he’s lost everything. My mom died when I was little. I never knew her from experience. Everything I know about her came from stories my dad used to tell me.”
“What does that have to do with me?!” Red demanded.
Marin flinched at Red’s shout and continued, “H-He….He was never really the same after she died. Even though I didn’t know how he was like while she was alive, I could tell. His eyes…they show that he had lost something very important far too many times. I…I wanted him to be happy. I wanted to see him the way he was before my mom died. That’s all. I remember that he was once the Hero of Time.”
Red’s mind clicked while Marin said, “At that time, he had a Triforce piece. Right when I first met you…I figured that if I could get your piece to him, he’d be happy again and turn back to the way he was. If that wasn’t enough, I’d give him mine, too.”
“Your father…” Red paused, “You’re willing to sacrifice me just to get your damn father in a good mood?!”
“No!” Marin quickly shouted, interrupting Red before he could say any more, “I wouldn’t let him do that. Besides…” she looked down at the ground, away from Red’s fierce crimson eyes, “a Triforce piece can only be removed if the host is still alive.”
Red shook his head, not believing his ears, “That doesn’t mean anything, what’s to stop him from killing me after he has what he wants!?”
Marin went silent. She didn’t know the answer.
“I know who your father is…” Red said and lets her go. He backs away from her, “he’s the bastard who’s screwed up everyone’s lives.”
Marin doesn’t move and watched him. “He’s Link…” he turns and says, “I’m going to kill him. Screw the world, this is personal.”
“Please don’t!” Marin shouted, “I know he can change!”
“It’s too late for that.” Red said with his back to her, “Don’t follow me. If you do…I swear I’ll kill you.” His deadly tone made Marin’s blood run cold.
“Please…” Marin whispered, “I know he can change. Don’t go…don’t leave me.”
“You were alone before we met. You’ll…”
Marin interrupts him, “No! You don’t understand! Since I met you two a year ago…All those times with Akari and you…they were the best times I’ve ever had. I never knew I could have so much fun…everything in my life began to brighten up. Before that, every day was dark and rainy for me. I’ve always wandered, lost and alone. You two…you two saved me from that hell. The hell called loneliness. You were the sunlight in the rain. Please don’t let that light fade. Don’t walk away…don’t leave me alone.”
“Don’t you know, Marin?” Red said in a dull voice, “The suns gotta set sometime.”
He walked away. Marin, fearing being left alone and going back to the life she once lived, ran after him, shouting, “Stop!”
Red didn’t stop.
He only stops when Marin wrapped her arms around him tightly. She rested her forehead on his back and said with her eyes closed, “...Loneliness...I’ve seen it before...true loneliness. It does horrible things to people...It makes them sick. They have no one to talk to...no one to look forward to seeing. Being forced to keep everything inside...it drives people crazy. So please...please don’t do that to me...don’t leave me alone...I don’t want to get sick...I want someone to be with, someone to look forward to seeing, someone to talk to...Don’t leave me all alone...not now, not ever. To me, being alone is worse than death. Don’t walk away...don’t leave.”
She tightens her grip and says, “My father…he ended up this way because he was lonely…He had no one. Even I wasn’t enough. He’d always compare me to Saria…to Zelda…and to my mom, Malon.” She paused before saying, “If you walk away…I…I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t want to end up like my father…not like that.”
“Shut up.” Red said firmly, causing Marin to open her eyes. Red places his hands on hers and pries her hands off of him. He pushes her hands away from him and turns, looking her in the eyes, “I don’t care anymore…after being lied to by the only two people I’ve ever trusted…I just don’t care. I can’t be sure if this is a lie or not. And truthfully, I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, going back to that loneliness you hate so much…you deserve it.” Marin could feel something aching in her heart. It hurt so much that she couldn’t speak.
Red shook his head and said, “You don’t mean anything to me anymore. Friends don’t backstab friends. Now go back to that thing you call loneliness…go back and leave. You can die right now for all I care. I have a score to settle with ‘daddy’.”
He takes one step back before Marin runs to him, tears rolling down her face, “I won’t let you!” Red plants his hand on her chest and shoves her away as hard as he could without the slightest hesitation. Marin stumbles back and falls onto her back.
She climbs back onto her feet as Red turned and walked away. She shouted, “Don’t!”
Red continued, ignoring her. She fell on her knees and watched as he willingly left her.
“That’s not very heroic.”
Red instantly turned around to see the source of the sound.
He looked shocked to find Marin lying on the ground, unconscious. Standing behind her body, was her father, Link.
“…Link.” Red said and drew his sword.
Link ignored Red’s sword and glanced down at Marin. Red glanced at Marin as well, “What did you do to her?! Leave her out of this!”
Link looked at Red and shook his head, wearing a smirk, “I don’t think you have the right to say anything. Then again, why should you care? You wanted to leave her. Either way, I’m her father…I can do whatever I please with her.” Red looked at Marin’s still body. Link noticed and said, “Don’t worry too much, ‘Red’. I just cast low level sleep spell on her. No harm done.”
Link’s eyes darted to Red’s hair and eyes. He extended his right palm out to Red and said, “Get rid of that ridiculous disguise.” He fired off a spell that was too quick for Red to dodge. The beam of green light struck and surrounded him. As the light fades, so does Vale’s spell.
His hair and eyes reset back to their true form.
Red looks at his reflection in the blade of his sword. Blond hair, blue eyes…he had forgotten that this was his true appearance.
Red, now known as Ken looked back up at Link.
Link examined Ken for a moment and said, “There…much better.”
Link gestured for Ken to come over, “Now that I’ve done you a favor, why don’t you do me one? Hand over that little piece in your hand. You know…the Triforce piece that is rightfully mine.”
Ken tightened his grip on the handle of his sword, “Just what do you hope to gain from this?”
Link smiled, “That is none of your concern. But…” he paused, shaking his head, “I often wondered why villains go and explain their entire plot to the ‘hero’ and I guess this is why. Theres no satisfaction in killing an ignorant hero…theres always more joy to be had when the hero knows what he has failed to stop.”
Ken waited. Link thought for a moment and explained, “Well, then…I suppose you know that the Triforce has the uncanny ability to grant wishes, correct?” Ken nodded, Link continued, “Well, there was a legend that was passed down from generation to generation in Termina as well as Hyrule. It tells of one of my ancestors…I have a blood line centuries old. This legend tells of a man coincidentally named Link. He journeys with a little girl named Majora. Link was a very special person. He came from a very secretive group…a group covered in shadow that strayed from the public’s eye. They were the ones who had a direct ‘link’ to the goddesses themselves. Can you guess what that group was called?”
Ken thinks, but nothing comes up. Link smirks and says, “Come now; think harder…I know you know.”
Ken suddenly looked awestruck as his mind found the answer, “…The Clandestine of Dusk.”
Link nods, “That’s right. The Clandestine of Dusk is older than Hyrule itself. It’s founder was a man named Eloquence…Eloquence Dragmire, the first blood line to the infamous Gerudo thief…Ganondorf Dragmire. After having such a close connection to the gods, Eloquence became enthralled by their divinity and wanted nothing more but to gain the power of the goddesses themselves. Because of this, he attempted to steal the relic himself. But, true to ancient legend, the pieces broke and separated due to his uneven heart. His soul lusted for power and that is the piece he received. The Triforce of Power. The other pieces went to two other beings.” Link paused, making sure Ken heard everything, “Since Link was the only living blood ‘link’ between the goddesses and Hylians, he instantly received the Triforce of Courage. The Triforce of Wisdom, of course went to a princess…her name was Zelda, Zelda the Second to be exact.”
“What does this have to do with anything?” Ken impatiently asked. Link shook his head and sighs, “Long story short: because of the greed of a very stupid man, the first chapter in The Legend of Zelda began. Zelda had given her piece of the Triforce to Link. Link, before defeating Eloquence, gained the Triforce of Power. With all the pieces in his possession, he gained absolute divinity. He became a deity…a god. More specifically, he became known as Fierce Deity.”
“But,” Link said slowly, “For some reason…Link chose not to keep that power. That was dandy and all, but where would all that power go? It couldn’t just disappear. It was then that his companion…the girl named Majora, channeled the power into a mask. The Fierce Deity’s Mask…” he lets the words linger before continuing, “Although the full power of gods have been sealed within the mask, it had proved too much for little Majora. She and Link feared the power of the mask and created an antithesis. They named it Majora’s Mask.”
Ken knew this part of the legend. He found something strange about the tale Link was telling, “…But…wasn’t Majora’s Mask the evil one?”
Link shook his head, “…When I was young, I had come into contact with both masks. Both masks have been infected with darkness. Majora’s Mask was, sadly…tainted beyond recovery. It was my job to destroy it using none other than the Fierce Deity’s Mask. That was the first time I’ve felt it. Real power…the power of the gods. Ever since that day, I’ve wondered what it would be like to be able to wield that power at will. To be able to command such power. It seemed so tantalizing, but I kept it to myself.”
“And now you want that power…” Ken muttered.
Link nods, “That’s right. I NEED that power. I must have it in order to create the perfect world! Don’t you see what I’m trying to do? This world is corrupted. Courage, Wisdom and Power aren’t enough. Only when fused together, only when each guides the other…that is when true power can be attained.”
Ken shook his head, “No…this is all wrong. You’re insane! People aren’t meant to hold that kind of power! I’m sure that…I’m sure your ancestor realized that as well! What happened to you? You used to be a hero!”
“…Hero?” Link muttered and chuckled, “Heroes, Heroines…Don’t you know what they really are? Heroes are tools, Ken…they are nothing but tools that people use.”
“What are you talking about?!” Ken demanded.
Link continued, ignoring him, “When something goes wrong…the hero has to come and right it. That’s it, nothing more. If the hero is in need of something, no one cares. Or if the world needs a sacrifice...they all look to the hero as the scapegoat. No one gives a damn about what goes on in the hero’s life. People only care about themselves. It’s buried in the back of our minds; it’s there, the need to reproduce, to create more offspring. To care about ourselves and make sure we survive to pass on the seed. A hero is nothing like that. They protect others instead of themselves, putting their lives on the line for people who wouldn’t give a damn. A hero is a defect of nature.”
Ken was speechless. Link notices this and says, “Don’t you see? This is the world we are living in. This is what I am trying to fix.”
“No…you’re making everything worse! You’ve killed a lot of innocent people! You’ve killed my family! You’ve killed Hyrule!”
Link smiles, “No, no, no…don’t act like you’re all innocent, either. You killed Ivan, you know…you killed quite a lot of people during your time wandering and drifting through the lands as Red. All those soldiers, mercenaries, killers…they all have their own family. They all have their own lives, their own dreams. Don’t ever forget that. Don’t be such a hypocrite.”
Ken goes silent. Link was right and he knew it. Link continued to dig into Ken’s psyche, “You are just like me…I don’t kill without reason, I kill with a purpose, as do you. But unlike you, I’ve accepted the idea of killing for a cause. That’s enough to justify everything I do.”
Link looks at the horizon, he sees the sun begin to rise, “I’ve dawdled long enough…” he kneels and picks up Marin. He places her over his shoulder, and says, “I’ll meet you at the tower. I want to see how much stronger you’ve grown, Ken. It’s been so long since our last encounter…I can’t wait to see your skills.”
“Why don’t we settle it right here, right now?” Ken said, glaring. His sword shone in the growing early morning light. Link laughed, “You…with half strength? Are you sure?”
Ken thought about this and hesitated. Link nods, “Good…I see you’ve developed a brain after all these years. I’ll see you at the tower for our final fight…for the defining moment.”
A strong hurricane-like wind blows from nowhere, knocking Ken onto one knee. He covers his eyes with his forearm; he couldn’t see or hear anything but the wind. Quickly, the wind faded and Ken looks to see that Link, with Marin, had disappeared.
Ken instinctively looked up to see a red dragon, Volvagia, with Link on top, fly towards Hyrule. Link turns and looks at Red.
Ken couldn’t do anything but watch as Link carried Marin off towards the tower.
“Dammit!” He cursed, angry at himself. He heard a loud snap and turned.
He found himself staring into the barrel of a revolver.
It was Sakura. She said, “Well, well, well…”
…this was something he really didn’t need to see right now.
Dysfunctional Families by Red Sparrow
Sakura smiled faintly, but her voice was serious, “I heard some commotion and lookie here.”
She looked at his change of appearance, “Blue eyes and blonde hair, now THIS is the Ken-kun I remember. All these years, I’ve looked forward to putting a bullet in your head and ending the guilt I’ve had for eight years.”
“Sakura…this isn’t…” Sakura interrupted him by pressing the revolver’s barrel against his head, “-I believe we’ve all been made fools out of.”
“…What?” was Ken’s astonished answer.
“…I saw everything. I followed your little girlfriend after she left that rundown house. I saw you yelling at her. I saw Link appear and I heard every word.” She lowers her revolver and smiles, somewhat relieved to know the truth, “It’s good to know that we aren’t the only ones with a dysfunctional family.”
Marin opened her eyes. She was lying on a very soft bed. She looked up at the white ceiling. She hadn’t been in a comfy bed in so long, she didn’t want to leave.
She turns her head to the left and saw her old counter. On the counter was a picture of her and Link. She was three and a half years old at the time, sitting on her father’s shoulders wearing a very cute smile, beside the picture, were little stuffed toys. She smiled faintly, she was back home again.
“Good Morning.” Her father’s voice spoke. She turned her head to the right and saw him sitting on the stool beside her bed. There was another counter here as well. There were two glasses of water on it, one full, and the other, empty.
Link picked up the full glass and offered it to Marin. Marin sat up slowly. It was then that she realized that she was wearing a one piece light pink nightgown. It was silk.
She reached over and accepted the drink. She drank it heartily and gives back the empty glass of water.
“Is this…am I dreaming?” Marin asked faintly, afraid that if she spoke too loud, she would wake up in a cold dank cell again.
“Why? Do you want it to be?” Link asked back.
“…No.” was Marin’s answer. Link smiled, “Then I won’t let it become just another dream. Welcome home, Marin.”
She smiled freely now, “I’m home!” Link leaned forward and hugged her tightly, she returned the embrace. “I told you,” Link said, “We’re family. Nothing will come between us ever again.”
“Family…” Marin repeated to herself. It was then that she remembered something. She lets him go, “Daddy…what happened to…” Link places his index finger lightly against her lips, silencing her, “Shh…don’t worry about him.”
Marin goes silent. As soon as Link removes his finger, she says, “Is he alright?”
Link sighed for a moment, “Of course he is.”
Marin looked relieved, “Where is he?” Link glanced out the window and said, “He’s probably on his way here.”
“You left him in Peractio?” Marin asked. Link nodded.
Link stood up and said, looking at her, “Why do you even worry about him? You know what he did to you.” Marin looked at the bed, “I can’t blame him…”
Then, she remembers Akari. She looks up at Link with a hint of loathing. But she did a good job of hiding it. She asked, “When…Red arrives, will you…”
“Don’t worry about that. I have a surprise for you.” Link turned and walked to her dresser. She watches as he opened the doors and reached in. He pulled out an assortment of pieces of clothing. He sets each of them on the bed beside her.
He straightens out and says, “These clothes are what Princess Zelda used to wear…I think you’re old enough to wear them.”
Marin looked more depressed than joyous. She picked up one of the long pink silk gloves.
She examined the fabric with her hands and asked, “…is it true?”
Link raised a brow, “What is it, honey?”
She looked at him and hesitated for a moment before asking, “…that you…you can’t die?”
Link answers it in a surprisingly calm voice, “Yes.”
“How could you do something like that? Cheat death?”
Link smiles, “I’m not the only one, you know. Whats the use of me being alone for all eternity? The same incantation that flows through my veins also flow within yours.”
This took her by surprise, “…what?”
“You’re immortal. Just like me.” Link answered coolly.
“…Since when?” Marin asked, her voice growing slightly more stressed, “Since you were two years of age.”
She dropped the glove and shook her head in disbelief, “…you…why?!” she mumbled, “I…how…” she couldn’t believe any of this. But now it all makes sense. Why her tormenters were astonished that she was able to take all that torture and still survive.
Link watches her reaction with trained eyes and says, “Never mind that.”
“Never mind…?” Marin asked, “How can you be so calm? How can you do that to me?!” she shouted.
For once, Link looked surprised, “What? You don’t want to be able to live forever?”
“…I,” she stuttered, “You’ve turned me into a monster!”
Link’s voice turned cold, “If that is what it takes to make sure you live long enough to see the perfect world,” he stared deeply through her, “then I shall.”
Marin shook her head, “…You’re going to kill everyone!” she shouted without thinking.
Link narrowed his eyes, “That is none of your concern. You are my daughter. You will not question my motives, do you understand?”
“No! I don’t!” Marin yelled, “You killed my friend…and now you’re going to kill Red.”
“They were never your friends!” Link shouted, causing Marin to silence herself instinctively, “Both of your ‘friends’ wanted you out of their lives. Akari was the one who wanted to kill you. Red was the one who willingly left you to ‘die’.” He lowered his voice into a calmer tone, “Don’t you see Marin? Friends will only betray you. The only one you can trust is me. Because unlike them, I’m here forever...”
“I don’t think I can trust you, either.” Marin muttered in half-defiance.
“Even so,” Link replied, “you are stuck with me for eternity.”
He lets the words hang over them. He turns and heads for the door, “Now dress up, I’ll come by later to see how you look.”
Marin spoke before as he opened the door, “What if I refuse?”
Link didn’t reply. Marin continued, “What if I refuse to stay with you?”
“…you don’t have a choice. I’m your father, anything I say goes. You’re my daughter, you’ll be mine forever. There’ll be no changing that fact...ever.” Link leaves, shutting the door behind him.
Marin stares at the dress beside her. The royal gown with the golden shoulder plates, the Hylian insignia. It truly was Zelda’s gown.
Marin turns over to bury her face in the soft, fluffy pillow.
She needed to cry.
Chapter Fifty-TwoFor Ev,
Marin glanced at the Goron Ruby on the counter. Her hand slowly reaches for it, her clothed fingers slowly wrap themselves around the delicate object. She pulls it off the counter and looks at herself in the mirror.
She was wearing Princess Zelda’s traditional royal gown. The pink and white dress fit her perfectly. The golden shoulder plates shone in the afternoon sunshine. The sky was still gray and dark, yet the sun still refused to be pushed back into the backdrop. It proudly showed its rays through the thickening storm clouds.
Marin felt as if she could relate to the sun.
She watches the mirror has her hands tie together the strings of the Goron Ruby around her neck. She lets her hands drop to her sides and stares at her reflection.
She spoke to her reflection, “…This…this is what I’m supposed to be?”
“That and much more, Marin.” Link spoke, shutting the door behind him.
Marin hadn’t heard him come in. Hearing his voice, she refused to look at him. She simply stared into the mirror at herself.
Link comes up behind her and wraps his right arm around her waist. He leans forward, looking at the both of them in the mirror.
He said, “So beautiful…” he smiled, “You look just like Zelda in this get-up.”
Marin didn’t respond. She just stared. She did look like Zelda…save for the faint traces of red in her blond hair, she was a mirror image. She couldn’t take the thought of herself being alive only to remind Link of his past loves. She looked at the ground, away from reflection.
Link moves his left hand and holds her chin. He forces her face up to look back at the reflection, “Don’t be embarrassed…look at you. You look absolutely lovely.”
Link lets go. Marin still stared at the mirror. “Theres only one more thing you need and you’ll be perfect.”
She could hear him moving around a bit. He walked back up to her, “Turn around.” He said.
Marin obeyed and turned slowly. Link shows her the Hylian Crown.
“This was the crown Princess Zelda wore in her prime.” Link explained, “Let’s see how it looks on you.”
Marin didn’t budge. Link slowly places the object on her head, brushing aside some loose hair in the process. He backs up and inspects his masterpiece. He nods, “…Perfect.”
There was a knock on the door. Link asked, “Who is it?”
“It’s me,” came Kiara’s voice, “I’ve found something quite interesting.”
Link glanced at Marin for a moment before saying, “Alright.”
As he headed for the door he turned to Marin and said, “…I suggest you start smiling some more, Marin. Theres no use in putting up a fight.”
The sides of Marin’s mouth quivered as her lips forced a smile. She still wore the blank expression in her eyes.
Link looked at her for a moment before opening the door and leaving the room.
Marin held that smile until she heard the door shut. She turned to the mirror and stared at herself. She walked towards the mirror and gingerly placed a finger on the reflection of her face. She spoke, “…Zelda…”
“What is it?” Link asked.
He and Kiara were in his quarters again. Kiara, Marin and Link weren’t inside the tower. They were residing within an estate several miles away from the tall looming tower. This place had been built inside a green fertile forest. It was large and had several hundred rooms. It was white and four stories high.
Link sat down in his seat behind his desk. Kiara sat opposite of him. She pulled out an old book. The cover had strange scriptures on it, written in gold letters. She flipped through a few pages and stopped. She spoke, “You asked me to decipher this book. Well, I’ve run into something quite interesting.”
Link nodded for her to continue. She did so, “You remember that ring? The one with the words engraved ‘Forever Your Hero’?”
This caught Link’s interest immediately, “Go on.”
“It seems that several thousand years ago…during the time the Clandestine of Dusk were in their fledgling years, there was a ring that was carved in order to channel the negative and positive energies between the two realities of Shadow and Light. That ring…is the key to traversing between both realities.” Kiara stopped.
Link thinks this over carefully, “…Then how is it that it ended up being sold at the market?” he thought back to the time when he had first seen the ring.
The seller had offered it to him at an extremely cheap price, even going as far as offering his entire shop. Link had the ring checked out and it seemed real. He did the only logical thing and bought the ring for his and Zelda's anniversary.
The words ‘Forever Your Hero’ were already engraved into the valuable material of the ring.
Kiara said, “That can easily be answered….the ring is cursed.”
“Figures…” Link muttered.
She continued, “The words ‘Forever Your Hero’…it has a deeper meaning.”
“…How so?” Link asked, Kiara grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled some lines in. She showed him the result.
-E.R., Your Hero.
Link’s eyes light up. He had a question, “Who is ‘E.R.’?”
Kiara paused before saying, “…Eloquence Reiter”
“…Reiter?” Link asked. Kiara explained, “Reiter was another name for a cavalry soldier. The language is foreign.”
“Then who is Ev?” Link inquired. Kiara shook her head, “That’s all I have right now. We don’t know what happened, what the curse is, or who this ‘Ev’ is.”
“Keep searching for the answer.” Link said and stood up, “I need to know what happened.”
Kiara nodded, “I shall.”
“In the meantime…” Link turned and looked out the large window behind the desk. The sky was gray; the sun was being pushed behind the clouds as the storm began to build up before the final climax, “…I’ll wait for my delivery boy to bring that ring to me.”
“Are you okay?” Sakura asked, watching Ken stare out at the tower. Ken snapped out of his daydream. He had been rolling the ring between his fingers.
They had finished their preparations. They were to head for Kakariko, and then go to Hyrule. He slid the ring over his finger before looking at Sakura. He nodded, “Let’s go.”
The Kokiri forest was dark and vacant. The small houses that once occupied the area were gone.
Ken and Sakura looked at the small lake and decided to rest here and build a fire for the night. They did all this in silence. It wasn’t as if all were forgiven.
The fire was crackling in the silence. They both sat across from each other, bathed in the dancing light of the fire. Sakura looked up and saw Ken staring at a small picture. This was the picture Akari, Marin and he took while in Kohilint Island. Akari was reluctant at first, but soon gotten into it.
Marin had the rest of the photos with her. Akari, although insisting that the photos were stupid, had secretly taken one of the group photos for herself. Ken liked this one best because it showed how happy they all were in the midst of everything.
In the picture, Akari was to his left and Marin to his right. Marin had her both her arms around Red’s neck and had the side of her face against his as she looked at the camera. Akari on the other hand, had Red’s left arm on her left shoulder. Akari had her hands on her lap and simply leaned against Red. They all wore smiles.
Sakura noticed that his eyes showed sadness and longing as he gazed at a memory of his past. Sakura took a deep breath before breaking the silence, “…What’ve you got there?”
Ken looked up slowly and said, “…It’s just a picture.”
Sakura nodded. The silence settled in again. Even though they shared the same blood, they were strangers.
“I’m sorry for what happened to your friend.” Sakura offered some solace. Ken replied without taking his eyes off the picture, “…Yeah…”
“It must be hard…” Sakura began, “going on like this, I mean.”
Ken shook his head, “You have no idea…” Sakura smiled faintly, “…I guess I was lucky to have someone like Grandpa Trent to look after me.”
He looked up at her, “How is he?”
She looked back to the fire, “He’s doing just fine. The last I saw him was eight years ago. Wildfire and Rapidfire are the only things I remember him by.” She laughs quietly, “I guess I’m just homesick.”
Hurt flashed in Ken’s eyes, “At least you have a home to go back to.”
Sakura had realized her mistake before Ken had talked, “…I’m sorry.”
She looked at the picture Ken was holding and asked, “…Can I see?”
Ken went silent for a long time before nodding slowly. He tossed it over the fire. The photo spun through the air before Sakura catches it between her index and middle finger. She looked down at the picture. A faint smile formed on her face, “…You three look so happy.”
Ken didn’t respond. Sakura sighed and looked into the fire, “I guess we tend to take our relationships with people for granted. And once they're gone, the memories seem that much more bittersweet.”
“Yeah…” was Ken’s response. He looked Sakura in the eyes for the first time and said, “I kept thinking there was a tomorrow…” he shook his head, “It was only yesterday. Just hours ago that Akari was alive and breathing.”
“She meant a lot to you, huh?” Sakura said. Ken nodded, “…yeah.”
“What about the other girl? …The blond one.” Sakura asked.
“She was…” Ken began, “more like a sister to me, a real good friend.”
Sakura nodded slowly and tossed the photo back over the fire to Ken, who caught it without looking at it. Sakura stared into the fire, “…Like a sister, huh?”
Ken looked at her, “…Yeah, like a sister.”
Marin was in her nightgown. She hadn’t left the room that entire day. She had food delivered to her, but she had lost her appetite long before. Zelda’s dress was draped over the stool beside her bed; the earrings and crown were on the counter.
She had the covers pulled up to her waist. She had her legs folded. On the bed, a bunch of pictures were scattered around. They were the pictures from their days in Kohilint Island.
She had five pictures in her hand. The first picture had Marin wearing that bunny hood she had bought. The second photo had her without the bunny ears in the picture. This was the one Red and Akari had. The third had Akari and Marin over Red, trying to place the cap on his head. He tried to escape.
The fourth had Red with the bunny cap on, with Akari nibbling one of the fluffy white ears, and Marin nibbling on the other. The three were looking at the camera. Red had an embarrassed smile on his face and was almost as red as his hair.
The final had Akari donning the bunny ears. The three were sword fighting with colored popsicles.
Marin dropped all the pictures. The photos fell and fluttered down to the covers of her bed. She hugged her knees and sets her head down on her knees. Meanwhile, the window to her right begins to rise out of the horizon.
A new day...
Raising Hell by Red Sparrow
The sun had risen a quarter of the way up from the horizon already. There was a knock on Marin’s door. She doesn’t answer, in fact, she didn’t hear it. Her mind was elsewhere. The door opened.
This broke her train of thought. She turned her head and sees Kiara standing in the doorway, the book in her arms. Kiara spoke, “…Your father wants you. Wash up and get dressed.”
Marin nodded slowly.
Less than an hour later, Marin stepped slowly into Link’s room. Link had his back to her, staring out the window at the tower. Today was the day.
Marin wore Zelda’s clothes once again, crown and all. Link turns and looks her over he nods his approval, “Beautiful as always, Marin.” He gestures to the tower with his thumb, “Today’s the day, Marin. …Ready to make history?”
Marin looks to the floor, “…No.” she builds up her courage and looks him in the eyes, “…I’m not. I’m not going.” Link kept his cool and replied, “Frankly, you don’t have a choice, honey. You’re all too important for this. This has to be perfect.”
Link strolled around his desk and towards his defiant daughter. He stops in front of her and says, “Don’t worry. It’ll all be worth it in the end. You just have to trust me. After all this is over, you’ll forget about those silly friends of yours.” Suddenly, Link felt sharp pain shooting up from his stomach. He looks down to see Marin’s knife impaled into his stomach. Link looks up at Marin and shook his head, “…You disappoint me, Marin. You’d stab your own father? Your precious ‘Daddy’?”
She narrowed his eyes as the blood flowed from his stomach, onto the knife and trickled over her hand, soaking the gloved material in red, “You’re not my father.” She said coldly.
His left hand grabs her wrists and forced her to withdraw the knife. His right pries the knife from her grasp. He spoke calmly, “You’ve ruined Zelda’s dress.”
He shook his head in a disappointed way. He drops the knife and quickly backhands her across the face. Marin cries out and falls to her knees, holding the side of her face.
Link kneels beside her and grabs her by the chin, forcing her to look at him, “You’re going to do what I say, and you’re going to like it. We’re going to the tower, either come with me willingly, or I’ll bring you there in pieces. You can’t die, but you can still feel pain. I suggest you choose carefully, the pain will be far worse than anything you can imagine, my precious, precious daughter.”
Marin closed her eyes.
Ken and Sakura trudged on in silence. It was still awkward traveling with someone they didn’t know much about.
How time flies…
By the time they reached ‘Lon Lon Ranch’, the sun was up in the sky, radiating through the patches of sky covered with storm clouds. Ken glanced at the ring again. It felt icy cold all of a sudden. He stared at the ruin.
“Ken.” Sakura said, tapping him on the shoulder. Ken turned to face her, she gestured to Hyrule and then to Kakariko’s direction, “Kakariko…theres nothing left. From what I see, we won’t be able to get in unless we can fly.”
“So it’s straight to Hyrule, huh?” Ken muttered. Sakura nodded.
Hours later, they made it into the ruin of the Hylian Marketplace. What caught their attention was the resonating of their Triforce pieces. It seemed to be cause by the Temple of Time, which was only a short distance away. The temple was in shambles.
Both siblings pushed the large doors of the temple open, letting in a ray of light. Across the room was the altar in which Link had placed all three keys to open the Door of Time so long ago. The Door of Time was already destroyed. There were huge cracks in it, enough for someone to squeeze through.
They proceeded into the dark temple, guided only by the light of the Triforce pieces.
Ken glanced at Sakura before slipping in through the cracks of the door. Sakura followed slowly afterwards. They were now within a circular chamber. Then they saw it.
The Pedestal of Time…impaled within it, was the Sword of Evil’s Bane, the Master Sword. Ken and Sakura walked up the small flight of stairs and stared at the sword.
Ken was the first to try to retrieve the sword. He wrapped his fingers around the sword as his Triforce piece radiated brightly.
The sword wouldn’t budge. He used both hands this time, but with the same result.
“Lemme try…” Sakura said. Ken gave it one more pull before stepping aside. Sakura took a deep breath and placed both hands around the handle of the sacred blade. She pulled with all her might, but with the same result.
Ken shook his head, “This is useless…”
Sakura lets go and stares at it, not intent on giving up quite yet. She strolled around the blade for a few rounds before grabbing it and yanking at it again.
“…what’s with this thing?” Sakura demanded, “Theres gotta be a secret we’re not getting here…”
Ken muttered to himself, “We both have two halves of the Triforce of Courage, so…” Sakura’s and Ken’s eyes met.
Ken steps up and places one hand around the handle. Sakura places one hand around the handle, as well. They look at each other before tightening their grip.
“On the count of three…” Ken said. They both counted, “One…two…” Both Triforce shards glowed fiercely, “THREE!”
They both yanked and pulled the sword from the pedestal. The both of them stumbled back and caught their footing. Still holding the sword, they both pointed the blade at the ceiling and saw their reflection in the sacred blade.
“We might actually do it…we might be able to take down Link.” Sakura murmured. Ken agreed, staring at the blade between them, “…With this, yeah…If only Akari was here to see this.”
Sakura’s face softened at those words and she lets go of the blade. Ken lowers the Master Sword, “What’s wrong?”
She glances at the Door of Time, their exit, “The sword…it’s yours. Use it to save Hyrule. And as unoriginal as this sounds, use it to save the world.”
Ken stared at her, then at the sword. Sakura headed for the Door of Time, “We should get out of here and make you a scabbard for that sword. Let’s go.”
Ken asked, “Are you sure?”
Sakura sighed, “Look…this is your chance to do something about Link. I feel useless right now…like a fifth wheel on a wagon. I want to be useful to you. This is the least I can do. Also,” she paused, “I know how it’s like to helplessly watch someone special get taken away from you. I want to give you a chance to make everything right…that’s all.” She stopped in front of the Door of Time, “Now let’s go or else I’ll leave you here.”
Ken twirled the Master Sword before smiling faintly, “Thank you.”
She winked, “You’re my brother, we’re stuck together whether we like it or not. I might as well make it bearable.” She slips in through the cracks.
He grinned and then followed his sister.
“Here.” Sakura said, handing Ken the best scabbard she could make using the wood from the destroyed buildings around them. It was bland…just a few pieces of wood tied tightly together with a thin dirtied rope.
The sun had begun to set. It was early evening.
Ken accepts it and sheaths the blade into the makeshift scabbard.
He strapped it onto his back. Ken smiled, “Not bad…not bad at all.”
“Nothing but perfection,” Sakura said, “Now then…shall we?” she bows slightly. Ken smirked, and walked past. She murmured, “Ladies first.”
Ken froze for a moment before shaking his head and continuing, “…sisters…”
Soon, they stopped at the base of the tower. For some reason, they couldn’t see any guards.
“They’re probably inside.” Sakura said, staring up at the tower.
“…duh.” Ken muttered. Sakura raised a brow. They both felt like family again…in an awkward way, it was as if the connection between them hadn’t changed at all. This eased both of their doubts about each other. “I meant the guards, genius.” Sakura replied with an annoyed tone.
They stilled argued like eight years ago. They both secretly liked teasing the other. In a time like this, with all this pressure on their shoulders, it was all the comfort they had to go on.
“Here goes.” Ken said and stepped towards the large wooden door.
“Wait!” she said, stopping him. Ken turned around and looked at her, “What is it?”
Sakura yanked the red headband from around her neck, “…stand still.” she carefully wrapped the fabric around his forehead. She tied the two ends together and backed up to inspect her work, “Much better.” The wind blew, adding to the effect, as the headband’s ends flapped in the wind.
“Very heroic,” she smirked, drawing her revolvers, Wildfire and Rapidfire. Ken drew his regular sword, keeping the Master Sword especially for Link.
Sakura stretched her legs before stepping beside Ken and looking at the door. She cocked her guns and twirled them, “Let’s raise a little hell, shall we?”
Ken laughed and twirled his sword, “You know what Grandpa Trent always says, 'No one in the world can raise hell like Kenny and Sake'.”
Sakura laughed along with her brother.
They both charged and booted down the door with guns blazing and swords swinging.
Whilst the Organ Plays by Red Sparrow
“Whilst The Organ Plays”
“Damn tektites! Die!” Sakura yelled as she blasted another tektite. She shivered as she watched the blood splatter against the wall, “I hate spiders!”
Ken muttered as he swiped the air and threw the blood off his blade, “I can tell.”
They stepped through the door and ended up standing on another winding staircase, “…why?” Sakura muttered, “Why are there so many goddamn stairs?!”
They went silent as the organ music continued in the background.
“It was creepy the first fifteen minutes, now it’s annoying.” Ken muttered. Sakura shrugged, “Link is pretty good, though. Nice sense of rhythm. Almost as good as I was. He changes tempo often, but keeps a steady underlying pace while getting pretty ingenious with the chord. He’s obviously playing improv…”
“Let’s just go.” He muttered, interrupting her before she could lecture for another hour or so. Sakura smirked, “You don’t appreciate good music.” She followed as Ken walked up the winding staircase.
They came to another door, “Where are we?” Ken asked, tired. “If I counted right,” Sakura thought, “we’re at the fifty-fifth floor.”
“We’ll clear out this room, and then we’ll rest at the other side, alright?” Ken said.
Sakura nodded, drawing Rapidfire from her holster. She hid beside the door as Ken drew his sword. He nodded the signal and they both pressed their free hands to the door, pushing it in until it clicks. The door slides up. They both rush in.
This time, the room wasn’t full of enemies. Not taking any chances, they back up into each other and point their weapons into the suspicious shadows. This room, like the others, was circular and lit by three torches nailed to the wall.
There was a door on the other side. The door clicked and caught their attention immediately. They point their weapons at the door, not knowing what to expect.
The door slid up to reveal Kiara. She stepped into the room and stopped as the door behind her slid shut.
“…You!” Sakura exclaimed. “Vale?” Ken muttered.
Kiara smiled faintly, “No. You two are thinking of my baby sister.” She bows faintly, “I’m Kiara.” She points to her brown eyes, “See? We may be twins, but we’ve got some differences to tell us apart. Vale has my mother’s eyes, while I have my father’s.”
She takes a step towards them. The two siblings immediately tense up, ready to fight. Sakura moves her thumb and pulls back the hammer on her revolver.
“Relax,” she said, “I’m not here to stop you. Move right along if you please. I have to run some errands.”
“What are you, his secretary?” Sakura asked spitefully.
Kiara smiled, “Cute.”
She walked towards them. The siblings parted to let her pass, but still kept their weapons trained on her. Kiara presses her hand against the door, opening it in much the same fashion. She steps through and turns around to face them, she looks directly at Ken, “That ring. Get rid of it.”
Before Ken could question this, the door closes with a resounding echo.
Both Sakura and Ken stare at each other, then down at the ring around Ken’s finger. “It’s…” Sakura began, “probably nothing. It’s just a ring, right?”
Ken nodded, “R…Right.” He had noticed that it was silent now. The organ had stopped.
They pass through the door, but instead of finding another staircase, they found themselves in a hallway. The hallway was wide enough for twenty people to stand side by side. “…this is new.” Ken muttered.
“You like?” Link’s voice echoed.
Sakura pointed both revolvers at the source of the sound coming from the other side of the hallway. The door on the other side opened. Link steps through, wearing black armor and a flowing cape, “Congratulations, you’ve made it through to the final boss.” he bows, “Yours truly.”
Link straightens out and says, “But, theres a little problem here.”
“That is?” Ken asked with a tone tainted with hatred.
On cue, the walls fade away. The hallway was fake, nothing but an illusion. The walls disappear to reveal a small unit of soldiers stationed around them. They had been watching ever since the two entered the hallway.
Link smiles, “Theres only room for one more.”
“This is bad.” Sakura muttered, looking around as the soldiers drew their swords. “Ya think?” Ken angrily replied.
“I have a plan.” Sakura suddenly said. Cocking both guns and aiming them at both sides of enemies. Ken glanced at her, “That is?”
“Go get ‘em, tiger!” She plants her boot on his butt and boots him forward, towards Link. Ken catches his footing as Sakura fired into the crowd, “Move it!” she yelled. Link smiles and backs out of the room through the door behind him. The door stays open.
Ken hesitates. Sakura looks him in the eyes as the crowd rushed in, “…Trust me, I’ll stay alive. Don’t let me down.” the organ starts up again, playing its beautiful, yet hectic melody.
Ken still doesn’t budge, torn between Link and Sakura.
She narrows her eyes and points her revolvers at Ken instead, “Move!” she fires.
Ken ducks under the bullets. This made up his mind; he slices through the crowd, protected with cover fire issued by his sister.
He dives through the door in front of him. The door shuts, coating everything in darkness. All whilst the organ plays.
A Mirror out of Time by Red Sparrow
“A Mirror out of Time”
All Ken could see was darkness, nothing else. The organ music continued to play. Suddenly, the torches around them light up, revealing Link on the other side of the room playing the organ with his back to Ken.
“Red!” Marin’s voices sounded.
Ken looked up to see Marin imprisoned in a pink crystal, wearing Zelda’s complete attire. She really did look like a princess.
Marin noticed his different appearance and gave him a quizzical look.
Link stops playing the organ and says without turning around, “Perfect. Everyone is present. The Hero, the Princess, and the Evil King, it’s so nostalgic.”
Ken and Marin had no clue as to what he was talking about. Link turned around, his cape elegantly followed his actions “This is an exact replica of the chamber in which I saved Princess Zelda from the clutches of Ganondorf Dragmire in the alternate timeline.” He smiled and looked the two over, “I’ve spent years dreaming of a chance to relive this moment.”
“You’re saying,” Ken said, “You did all of this for the memories?!”
Marin stayed quiet, placing her hands against the sides of the crystal.
“No,” was Link’s response, “it’s an added bonus. But there is a flaw here.” He points to Ken, “You only have a fragment of the Triforce of Courage. And the Triforce of Power is absent. Needless to say, my plan for reenacting the past wasn’t a complete success. If only I knew where that blasted Kokiri Emerald is.”
“…Daddy! Stop this!” Marin suddenly shouted, “This is madness!”
“I only seek to better this world.” Link said, “To do that, I’ll need more power. I need to become a god. To wield divinity like my ancestor, that is my ambition.”
“I’ve heard this story before.” Ken said and drew his Master Sword.
Link laughed, “You come at me with a powerless Master Sword? That thing is useless. I’ve already destroyed its power by eliminating the two new sages. The Sage of Wind, Fado…and the Sage of Earth, Laruto, that thing is useless.”
Ken glanced at the Master Sword and cursed, “Dammit.”
Link shrugged, “Exactly. That’s why I left it in the Temple of Time for you.” He smirked victoriously, “Now, if I recall correctly, you have that ring dear little Saria gave you. And a piece of my Triforce of Courage…” he stood up, wearing a joyous smile as he repeated the words of Ganondorf, his former enemy, “These toys are too much for you!” he drew his sword, “I will take back that which is mine!” Ken stood at his guard as Marin watched helplessly.
Shattered Glass by Red Sparrow
“…Pretty good!” Link said. Their swords were locked together. Link laughs, “I haven’t felt this kind of thrill in such a long time.”
It was true. It had been too long since Link’s adrenaline was running this high.
“Tell me something,” Link suddenly asked, “Are you afraid of heights?”
Before Ken could respond, Link elbows him on the side of the face, causing Ken to stumble backwards dangerously towards the stained glass window. The window was blue, with the yellow Triforce pieces engraved into the center.
Link takes a step forward and kicks Ken in the chest, sending him careening through the window.
“Red!” Marin screamed.
Link laughs and dives through the window after him.
Ken opened his eyes and sees Link running down the side of the tower towards him. Ken smirks, feeling the rush of battle as well; he planted his feet firmly against the side of the tower, using this momentary grip to allow Link to catch up.
Ken swung hard as Link fell towards the blade; Link simply kicks himself over Ken and continues falling.
Ken’s grip disappears and he falls as well, turning to face his adversary. He runs down after Link in much the same fashion.
“Dodge this!” Link says, taking a move from Zelda’s playbook, “Burn!” he extends his palm out towards Ken and fires a large orb of fire. Din’s Fire.
Ken tightens his grip on his blade and cuts the spell in half. The two broken pieces of the orb flies onward past Ken and explodes in the background.
Marin pounds on the sides of the barrier, “Why…why can’t I…theres no way I’m going to be a damsel in distress…” it was then that she noticed something awkwardly familiar about this crystal. It was the same spell she and Akari had escaped from before. She looked from her hands to the barrier. She knew what to do.
Ken flies through yet another window, his back slams into the hard cobblestone wall. He was back inside the tower again. On the other side of the window, Link stood, standing on the flat blades of his hovering knives. He draws his remaining four knives and throws them up lazily. They float as well. He cracks his neck and flies forward.
Ken leaps to the side as the blades slam into the wall where his head was minutes ago. Ken looks up to see Link falling towards him, sword raised.
He sidesteps Link and kicks him in the face, knocking him back.
Ken dashes forward and their swords crossed once more, throwing up sparks.
Ken angled his sword downward, hooking Link’s blade on the hilt. Ken quickly lifts up his sword, forcing Link’s weapon into the air, Ken spin and elbows him in the face. Link stumbles backwards, cupping his cheek.
Ken rushes forward. He thrusts his sword at Link.
Link smirked and leapt into the air as the sword collided into the wall below him. Link landed on the flat of the blade, looking down at a stunned Ken, “This is all strangely familiar…” Link muttered as he ran forward, leapt off the blade, over Ken and on the ground behind him.
Link snatched up his blade and turned, swinging at Ken at the same time. Ken sees this, yanking the sword from the wall and parrying the blows. They parried each other for a few more moments, their blades catching nothing but air.
Their blades connect once again. They pushed against each other. They were evenly matched. Link planted his boot on Ken’s chest and boots him onto the floor.
Ken scrambles up to his feet and blocks a Din’s Fire spell. The impact knocks the blade away.
Link lands over him and slams his sword down towards Ken’s face.
Ken didn’t have a weapon to defend himself with.
Ken raises both hands and catches the blade. Link stares for a moment; soon it changes into a faint smirk. He knew exactly what this was…it was just like his fight against Derek.
Link grunts, leaning forward and putting his full weight onto the sword.
Ken increased his grip power on the sharp bladed instrument of death staring at him. Blood began to flow from the palms of his hands. They dripped down the blade, hovered on the tip, and fell onto Ken’s face.
“The end…? Come now, I’ve done better!” Link said triumphantly as he shoved the sword closer to Ken’s face. But Ken held strong, ignoring the pain surging through his hands. Ken raises both of his feet up, placed them on Link’s chest and yelled, “Get..........OFF!!!!!” Ken shoved Link off him with his feet. Link landed flat on his feet.
Ken rolls over and back onto his feet. He bolts towards his sword desperately. He skids to a stop and yanks it off the ground. He turns to see Link’s blade flying at him, he ducks and swings hard, slicing Link across the face. Link turns with the momentum and manages to slice Ken’s face as well.
They both fell onto their knees and take a quick breather as the blood flowed from their faces and down onto the ground.
“…Eximo!” Marin yelled. The faint hum of the barrier faded. Marin falls and lands on her feet, breaking the heels of her high heel shoes. She whispered, “I…I did.” She smiled; “I did it, Akari!” she kneels down and takes off her broken shoes.
“Not really…” Kiara’s voice came from behind.
Marin turned. Kiara smiled, “You just made it easier on me. Now, stand still.” She raised her staff up and pointed the end at Marin, “This’ll hurt just for a little bit.”
Kiara sensed something about Marin’s aura and muttered, a smile forming on her face, “…you…you’re just like my sister, Vale. So, it’s you two, huh? What a very eerie coincidence. The Wind Waker chapter is already starting…” she then fired.
Ken slouched against the wall as Link kneeled across the room, each were worn out. Ken raises his sword and stands back onto his feet, “What’s wrong? Is that all you got, old man?”
“Cocky bastard,” Link whispered softly to himself. He stands up slowly and readies himself, “Let’s go, shall we? …En Guarde!”
“En Guarde.” Ken replied. They both charged.
Link had a plan. He was going to end this the same exact way he killed Derek.
Ken swings first, Link ducks and baseball slides behind Ken from between his legs. Ken turns quickly only to see Link’s blade screaming towards him.
The sword stops.
Link blinks, “…What?”
Ken stares in shock as the sword froze in midair. His eyes move up from the blade to the hilt. He sees…
“...Sis!” Ken exclaimed. Sakura smirked and lowered the sword, she didn’t have a single scratch on her, “You look horrible, bro…don’t tell me this old has-beens been givin’ ya trouble!”
Link narrows his eyes, “Has-been!”
Sakura glances at Link then to her brother, “Ready?”
Ken smiles, “Right.”
Link runs forward, “You two punks think you can take me?!”
They both turn and dodge a blind punch. They both sidekick Link on the chest, launching him into the air, Sakura twirls the sword and throws it in Link’s stomach.
The sword connects, plunging through Link’s stomach. Link lands on his feet and looks up to see Ken’s fist. He couldn’t respond.
Ken’s fist connects, causing Link to stumble back. Ken follows it up with a kick. Link quickly feints to his left and counters with a punch of his own. Ken ducks, revealing Sakura behind him with a fully loaded revolver, “Buh-bye!” she shouts and fires.
Link’s eyes widen as the bullet careens into his forehead.
Ken follows this up with a uppercut, knocking Link into the air once again. He leaps after him. Link stares, helpless as Ken twists in the air and sends a kick slamming into Link’s chest…
Link flies backwards, through the window and out of the tower to fall.
Ken lands on his feet and takes a sigh of relief, kneeling down.
He feels a hand on his shoulder, “We did it, Ken-kun.”
Ken smiles, looking up at his sister, “…’Ken-kun’...I haven’t heard that in such a long time. It’s funny how fast time flies.”
They both walked towards the broken window Link was just sent through. They look down, “...that’s a really big drop.” Ken mutters.
“Yeah…” Sakura agreed.
The silence settled in again. Sakura broke this silence and says, “…Time really has flown by, hasn’t it…really fast, I mean.”
Ken looks at her. Sakura continues talking as she stares towards the ground, “We’re family, yet I don’t know anything about you. We’re like strangers now. It’s a scary thought.”
“Maybe,” Ken began, “that’s a good thing. I mean…we could get to know each other all over again. It’s like starting over…a second chance?”
“All my life, I’ve trained my body and my mind for the one moment when I could see you again. To avenge our family…I feel like I’ve wasted my entire life doing it…what do I do now?” Sakura glanced at him, “What do we do now?”
“Well…” Ken thought for a moment, “We start living again.”
“Wrong!” Link’s voice shouted from behind.
They both turned suddenly to see Link, the sword out of his stomach and in his hands. He was a bloody mess, “Die!!!” he lunges forward with the sword. Ken shoves Sakura aside and draws his own sword. The Master Sword.
The blades connect, but Link continues to run forward, shoving Ken with his sword.
They both fall over the edge. Sakura runs forward and looks down in panic, “Ken!!”
Link laughs, “I can’t die! Unfortunately for you, I don’t have to worry about becoming a stain in the ground!”
Ken knew he was right.
Ken glares, “Bastard!” Link grabs Ken by the throat and slams him against the wall of the tower while they fell. He holds him there, letting the friction of Ken’s back against the tower burn his flesh off, Ken cried out, feeling the most pain he’s ever felt in his entire life.
Link laughs and swings his sword with his free hand. To Link’s surprise, Ken blocks. Ken angles the blade to slam into the side of the tower, causing Link to lose his grip on both the sword and Ken.
Ken then pressed his foot on the side of the tower, getting enough grip to let him kick against the wall and leap over Link. Link turns as Ken slammed the Master Sword through Link’s stomach, “That was for my sister.” Ken said with a glare.
Ken twists the blade, drawing more blood.
Ken let’s go and he reaches to his side to draw his own sword, “And this…” Ken began, “this is for Akari!” he yells and slices Link in half at an angle. Link doesn't uttter a word, he couldn’t. He lets out a little cough as blood flowed from his mouth.
Suddenly, Link arches his back violently, letting out an inhumane scream before shattering into a million pieces, throwing the Master Sword far away. The pieces fade and disappear into nothingness.
Ken stares for a moment, stunned.
He looks at his bloodied blade and throws it away from him, disgusted with the blood tainted on the blade.
He looks up and remembers Sakura and Marin.
He smiles faintly, struggling not to go out in tears, he quickly yanks the heart pendent and red headband away from himself. He holds both tightly in his left hand, he kisses the two precious objects and whispers as he releases them, “No regrets…”
Everything goes black.
Remember That Dream I Had by Red Sparrow
“Remember That Dream I Had”
The sky was gray. It had three years since Ken’s death. Sakura was nineteen years old now. She was a young school teacher in Katasaku. She was standing in the graveyard with a bouquet of roses. She kneels by a specific tombstone and sets them down, whispering, “Happy third anniversary, Ken-kun.” The wind blew the two ends of the red headband that was wrapped around Sakura's head, Ken’s memento.
After finding Ken’s remains, she made the heartbreaking journey back home with his remains to give him a proper burial. She herself took the Master Sword along. She wasn’t wearing her heart pendent. She had all three objects hidden away.
“I knew I’d find you here.” came a soft voice from behind her, Sakura didn’t turn around; she replies, “Grandpa.”
“Your students are wondering where their teacher is.” Trent said softly.
Sakura doesn’t turn around or respond. Trent glances down at the roses and says, “You still can’t let go of him, can…”
Sakura interrupts him, “It’s funny, isn’t it? I mean, I wasted my entire childhood dreaming of the day he dies, and when that day comes…I find out everything I believed was a bloody lie.”
Trent stops beside her and stares down at the tombstone also, “You’re letting your guilt kill you.”
“It’s the least I can do.” Sakura muttered.
“Despite what you may think, I’m sure he didn’t want you to start moping everyday for three years straight. Sake…Sakura…this isn’t what he wanted. This isn’t what I want to see everyday. My granddaughter moping around pondering why she's still alive…you should take Ken’s word to heart, ‘Start Living’. Don’t live in regrets, Sake.”
Sakura didn’t reply. Trent looked at her worriedly.
Sakura turned and looked at him, “Start living, huh? You make it sound so easy. Words can only do so much. I’ve grown cold. I can’t cry anymore. What kind of person can’t cry? I want to…I want to relieve this feeling in my heart…it hurts, it’s been building up for years. I feel like I’m going to burst. But,” she turns away again, “I can’t. I feel like theres no tears left to shed.”
She walks off, “Thank you, though…” Trent turns to face her. She had her back to him. She stopped walking and said slowly, “Thanks for trying to help. I mean it. Thank you.”
She paused before saying, “This…this place, this time…it all seems so familiar. Like a dream I once had…it’s so blurry now. I can’t believe I’m even able to recall it…but I think theres a reason I’m here. It’s like fate is pulling me back here everyday.”
Trent looked at her, confused.
“What a very dramatic speech.” Came a voice from the trees around them.
Both quickly knew who it was.
Trent draws his revolvers, Sakura was unarmed. “…Sakura!” Trent yelled and tossed her Rapidfire. He kept his own, Wildfire.
Link stepped out of the foliage, clapping slowly in a sarcastic manner, “The family’s all here, huh?”
Both Trent and his granddaughter pointed their revolvers in Link’s direction.
Link didn’t seem to mind. He looked good as new except for one glaring difference. He now had a scar that went from the top left part of his head down to his right hip.
“You!” Sakura exclaimed, “How!”
“Your brother…he’s very stubborn…see this?” he points to the scar, “It burns like hell…for some reason, it won’t heal. I think it’s the power of that blasted Triforce piece…or the Master Sword…or maybe something else. All I know is, your big brother left me a little gift before he went splat.”
He looked himself over and said, “I’m still not able to get past being defeated despite being immortal. But then again, I’m not the stain in the ground, am I?”
Sakura glared, “Don’t you ever…”
Link smiled, “Have I struck a chord? Believe me; it took me three years to pull myself together after a defeat like that…literally.”
No one laughed at Link’s dark humor, “I’m here for one thing…three things actually…I thought it was very clever on Saria’s part…Tragedy...doesn't it just make you sick to your stomach?”
“What are you talking about?” Trent demanded. Link smirked, “Give me those heart pendants, the Master Sword and your piece of the Triforce, little ‘Sake’.”
Sakura shook her head, “Like I’ll ever hand anything over to you.”
“I missed my chance with your brother’s piece of the Triforce; I won’t lose this chance to get yours.” Link smiled.
“…over my dead body.” Sakura muttered, cocking her gun.
“That’s precisely the point, my dear.” Link laughed and drew his sword.
Link sat on his desk. He was back in Hyrule. It was a week after he had acquired Sakura’s piece of the Triforce and burned Katasaku to the ground in the process.
He looked up as Kiara strolled into the room.
“Find anything?” Link asked.
Kiara shook her head, “Heart Pendants are nowhere to be found. The Master Sword’s location is a mystery as well.”
Link sighed in disappointment, “Then why are you here?”
Kiara smiled, “I’ve found the meaning to that ring.”
Link straightened out, “Go on.”
“As you know, we have the ring in custody, as well as the Zora Sapphire and the Goron Ruby.” Kiara began, “Well, according to the text I’ve translated, Ev was a lowly peasant who caught the eye of a soldier. Soon they began developing their relationship. The soldier and the peasant were infatuated. As a gift, he had the words inscribed, ‘Forever Your Hero’ into the ring. This was also used as a key of sorts by the Clandestine of Dusk.”
Kiara paused and then continued, “Unfortunately, Eloquence went missing in battle.” Link nods slowly. Kiara said, “Heartbroken, Ev had kept the ring with her as a memento. She felt betrayed that he’d leave her. She died of a broken heart.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Link asked.
“As you know, when someone dies while in a state of intense emotional trauma, a curse is born, whether it be happiness, sadness, anger, or envy. This curse, born from Ev’s grief for being left alone has this nasty effect of sucking up any soul that is released during death. That most horrid thing is…”
“…is?” Link asked.
Kiara looked troubled, “Anyone…ANYONE who has even touched the ring even once during their lifetime is marked.”
Link looked shocked for a moment, “We’ve all come into contact with that ring…Zelda, Malon, Saria…”
She nods, “If they’ve touched it, they’re trapped inside that ring as well. In effect, this is what Ev wanted. To never be left alone.”
Suddenly a guard rushed through the door and into Link’s quarters.
Link looked at him sternly as Kiara stepped aside for the guard to get through.
“Make it quick.” Link said. The guard looked panic-stricken, “You’re daughter! Princess Marin!”
This caught both Kiara’s and Link’s interest immediately, “Spit it out, damn you! What’s wrong with my daughter!?” Link yelled, frustrated at the guard’s incompetence.
“S-she’s taken everything!” the guard said, “She’s stolen the Goron Ruby, the Zora Sapphire, and that silver ring! She’s already on her way towards the Gerudo Valley!”
Link stood up quickly and rushed to the window. He could see her in the far distance. His face contorted with intense anger, “MARIN!!!”
Marin looked over her shoulder. She had both objects around her neck. She had Malon’s green leather tunic on. The one she wore when she was her age. It was only worn once…the day Zelda was assassinated.
Malon had a quiver of arrows strapped to her side and a sword strapped to her back. She wore the ring around her finger. She looked over her shoulder. She thought she had heard something.
She glanced back to the setting sun and urged her horse into a full gallop.
“Red…Akari…” she whispered, “I’m going to save everyone. You two can count on me…I swear.”
She didn’t know where she was going; she wasn’t sure what she can do. All she knew was that she was going to try to right everything that went wrong.
…Letting the sun, and her heart, guide her.
“Vale, have you reached Hyrule?”
“Yes…it’s taken me awhile…everything is in shambles. It’s hard to make anything out.”
“Good. Everything is going according to plan.”
“How is it on your side Daphnes, sir?”
“The Wind Waker is still unconscious after being flung from the forbidden fortress.”
“Don’t you think ‘King of Red Lions’ is a bit obvious?”
“I’m a boat, I’m pretty sure the boy’ll get past that shock and won’t even question it. Besides, it’s a very long time since anyone’s heard of the ‘Red Lions’.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask you something…What happened to the ‘Twilight Princess’?”
“…Don’t worry too much. It was all according to plan. This is our chance to save our realities, mine from Ganondorf, and yours from Link.”
“Do you remember what you have to do?”
“Yes, awaken the Sages of Wind and Earth to power up the Master Sword.”
“Don’t forget to reacquire the three spiritual stones.”
“I must go now. The Wind Waker is regaining consciousness. We’ll talk later, Vale. Good luck. Everyone’s counting on you and this boy. Whenever you’re in a jam just think of your mother…survive on her strength as well as yours. Her spirit lives on inside you. Don’t forget.”
“Alright, goodbye for now, your highness…Commencing Project Shadow and Light…now.”
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.